Alligators

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Crocodiles and alligators are members of the crocodilian species but belong to different families. Crocodiles are part of the crocodylidae family, whereas alligators are in the alligatoridae family. The most noticeable difference is the jaw shape. Alligators have a wider U-shaped snout, while crocodiles have a longer, more pointed V-shaped nose. Alligators can reach 15 feet long, whereas some species of crocodiles can grow from 17 to 20 feet.

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  • How do alligators breathe underwater?

    Q: How do alligators breathe underwater?

    A: Alligators actually don't breathe underwater. Though they can stay submerged for long periods of time, they must eventually surface to breathe through the nostrils on their long snouts.
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  • What is a group of alligators called?

    Q: What is a group of alligators called?

    A: A congregation refers to a group of alligators, where the smaller alligators are compliant to the biggest, most dominant alligator. A group of newly hatched alligators, or juveniles, is referred to as a pod.
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  • Who are the enemies of alligators?

    Q: Who are the enemies of alligators?

    A: According to LiveScience, the only natural enemies of alligators 4 feet or larger are other alligators. Before reaching this size, young alligators are preyed upon by raccoons, bobcats and wading birds, among other animals. Human-related activities, such as poaching and territorial encroachment, remain threats.
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  • How fast can alligators run on land?

    Q: How fast can alligators run on land?

    A: According to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, alligators can run up to 35 mph on land. Although these animals are frighteningly quick runners, they are only able achieve these speeds in short bursts and maintain it for only very short distances.
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  • How do alligators communicate?

    Q: How do alligators communicate?

    A: Alligators communicate with one another by emitting deep, loud roaring sounds that travel as far as 165 yards. When alligators are courting, they release purring coughs, referred to as chumpfs. Baby alligators begin communicating with their mothers while they are still inside their eggs by emitting shrill whining noises to announce their arrival when they are preparing to hatch.
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  • Where do alligators live?

    Q: Where do alligators live?

    A: American alligators live in the southeastern portion of the United States, with largest populations residing in Florida and Louisiana. The Chinese alligator is native to China.
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  • What do alligator snapping turtles eat?

    Q: What do alligator snapping turtles eat?

    A: Alligator snapping turtles eat a variety of food, including fish, minnows and snakes. They will even eat dead fish and other turtles if the opportunity knocks.
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  • What is the bite pressure of an alligator?

    Q: What is the bite pressure of an alligator?

    A: The bite pressure of alligators is slightly different depending on the specific species, but saltwater crocodiles have the strongest bites. Their jaws generate up to 3,700 pounds per square inch, or 16,460 newtons, of bite pressure at a time. The bite force generated by crocodiles is quite significant, and is comparable to the bite force produced by historic predators, such as the T. rex.
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  • What do you call a baby alligator?

    Q: What do you call a baby alligator?

    A: Baby alligators are called hatchlings. When hatchlings reach maturity, they grow to be approximately six feet long. Mature males are known as bulls, and mature females are referred to as cows.
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  • How long can an alligator stay underwater?

    Q: How long can an alligator stay underwater?

    A: Alligators can stay underwater for up to 24 hours if they need to, although most only stay submerged for 20 to 30 minutes. The alligator's body is specially developed to stay beneath the water if the circumstances call for it.
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  • How much does an alligator weigh?

    Q: How much does an alligator weigh?

    A: The American alligator can weigh up to 1,000 pounds and reach lengths of up to 15 feet, according to National Geographic. Female alligators are significantly shorter than males, at about 10 feet in length.
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  • Alligator vs. crocodile: is there any difference?

    Q: Alligator vs. crocodile: is there any difference?

    A: Crocodiles and alligators are members of the crocodilian species but belong to different families. Crocodiles are part of the crocodylidae family, whereas alligators are in the alligatoridae family. The most noticeable difference is the jaw shape. Alligators have a wider U-shaped snout, while crocodiles have a longer, more pointed V-shaped nose. Alligators can reach 15 feet long, whereas some species of crocodiles can grow from 17 to 20 feet.
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  • Q: How do alligators adapt to their environments?

    A: The alligator adapts to its environment by relying on its camouflaged hide, the position of its eyes and nostrils, the ability of its ears to close and its specialized organs. Both the alligator's lungs and heart are adapted to long periods of time spent submerged in the water.
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  • Q: Is an alligator a mammal?

    A: Alligators are not mammals, they are reptiles. Alligators do not have hair or fur like mammals, but are instead covered in scales, nor do they nurse their young with milk. Additionally alligators are cold-blooded, rather than warm-blooded like mammals.
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  • Q: How many teeth do alligators have?

    A: According to the Smithsonian National Zoological Park, alligators have a total of 74 to 80 teeth in their mouths at one time. When the teeth inside an alligators mouth wear down, they are replaced with new teeth.
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  • Q: When is the alligator mating season?

    A: The mating season of the American alligator typically lasts from April to June. During this time, the overall activity level of alligators increases. Mother alligators move to build nests, while juvenile alligators try to avoid encounters with adult alligators because adult alligators are known to occasionally kill juveniles.
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  • Q: How many alligators live in Florida?

    A: Around 1.25 million alligators live in Florida, which is equal to a little more than 20 percent of the entire American alligator population in the United States. Alligators living in Florida are found in freshwater environments like rivers, ponds, swamps, wetlands and marshes.
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  • Q: Do alligators hibernate?

    A: Alligators do not hibernate during winter, but they do brummate. Brummate is when an alligator slows down its metabolic rate, but doesn't enter a state of hibernation.
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  • Q: What are some facts that are all about alligators?

    A: There are two alligator species: the Chinese alligator and the American alligator. Alligators generally do not attack humans, but they go on the offensive when threatened or protecting their eggs and young.
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  • What are some facts about alligators?

    Q: What are some facts about alligators?

    A: Alligators are known as living fossils because they have existed for roughly 200 million years, according to LiveScience. American alligators are heavily concentrated in the southeastern states, such as Florida and Mississippi, while the critically endangered Chinese alligator is found in China's Yangtze River basin.
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  • Q: Are there alligators in South Carolina?

    A: In the United States, alligators can be found in the southeast, including in South Carolina. They can also be found in Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi and Louisiana.
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