Alligators are beautiful creatures that also call Florida home. Here are 12 Things You Didn’t Know About Florida’s Alligators.
Remember: Always assume that any body of water in Florida is home to alligators. Please be cautious.
- Female alligators rarely exceed 10 feet in length. However, males can be much larger! In fact, the state record for the largest alligator was found in Orange Lake in Alachua County. This alligator was 1,043 pounds and over 14 feet long!
- An alligators heart consists of four chambers! Most reptiles have only three… They share this trait with mammals and birds!
- Alligators are ectothermic. Meaning, they rely on external sources of heat to regulate their body temperature. They love basking in the sun along the banks of lakes and ponds. Alligators are most active between the temperatures of 82 & 92 degrees!
- Alligators live in freshwater environments, such as ponds, swamps, rivers, wetlands, and marshes.
- Only 1/3 of alligator nests are destroyed by predators or flooding. Raccoons are the main threat to destroy their nest. Each nest has an average of 35-50 eggs. However, only 15 or so will hatch and out of those only a half dozen will live to reach the age of one.
- Once an alligator reaches 6-7 feet in length it is sexually mature. It will take a male alligator 8-12 years to reach this length and a female 10-15 years.
- Alligators diets consist of insects, amphibians, small fish, snakes, turtles, birds and other small animals.
- In 1987 the State of Florida declared the alligator as the official state reptile!
- Some alligators can live to be at least 50 years old!
- Alligators are extremely quick, they can reach speeds of 20mph to chase down prey. So if you see one, don’t get near it.
- Ever wonder what will happen if an alligator is bitten by a poisonous snake? They are not immune to bites, though it is said that the snake’s fangs won’t even penetrate since an alligator has very tough and thick skin.
- Alligators bite down with extreme force… over 3,000 pounds of force! One of the most powerful bites ever for a living animal.