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Alligators

Alligator Facts

  • The alligator is often described as “a living fossil” because it has changed little in the past 65 million years.
  • Alligators can have up to 80 teeth at any given time. New teeth grow to replace worn ones and throughout a lifetime an alligator can have between 2,000 and 3,000 teeth.
  • Alligators are omnivores and opportunistic feeders who ambush their prey rather than chase it.
  • Alligators can reach 30 miles per hour in a short burst, however cannot maintain a high speed.
  • Female alligators construct nests made of vegetation and mud. They can lay over 50 eggs in a single season.
  • As soon as they are born, alligator hatchlings can go and catch their own food.
  • American alligator hatchlings are around 6 to 8 inches (15 to 20 cm) long. They stay with their mothers for two years.
  • The temperature of the nest determines the sex of a newborn alligator. Females are produced when the temperatures are below 82.4 degrees Fahrenheit (28 degrees Celsius), and males are produced at temperatures above 91.4 F (33 C). A temperature of 87.8 F (31 C) will produce an even number of males and females.
  • Although seriously endangered in the 1950’s the American alligator’s numbers have grown since they came under legal protection.

 

 


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