Alligators are reptiles covered in a thick, protective hide, spending most of their life in the water due their short legs and large bodies. They are predators, and can take down prey much larger than themselves with a mouthful of teeth and one of the most powerful jaws in the animal kingdom.
There are two known species of alligators alive today, the American and the Chinese. The other several discovered species are all extinct. The American alligator can grow to an average length of 13 feet and weigh up to 800 pounds. The Chinese alligator grows up to 7 feet, weighing much less. Alligators tend to live in freshwater environments, such as rivers and marshes. American alligators are known to dwell in swamps.
Alligators are solitary, territorial animals, causing them to be very aggressive when they feel their turf has been breached. Alligators are carnivores, with diets consisting of everything from fish and birds to cattle. The jaw of an alligator has one of the most powerful bites, with incredible pressure per square inch. Being reptiles, Alligators lay eggs, which they care for and guard until birth. When the babies hatch, the mothers will carry them in their mouths to the safety of the water.