Alligators are able to reach speeds of up to 11 mph on land and can swim up 20 mph in the water. They are faster in water because their short limbs and large tails are not well adapted for moving on land.
There are two different types of alligators, the Chinese and the American. The American alligator is 10 to 15 feet long and weighs about 1,000 pounds. It is found in the southern United States, in rivers from Texas to North Carolina. The Chinese alligator is smaller, averaging 4 1/2 to 5 feet in length and weighing about 50 pounds. It is found in a confined area of the Yangtze River basin in eastern China.