Photo courtesy of Flickr user jking89.
Here are some fun alligator facts to help you win at trivia games!
The average lifespan of an American alligator is about 30-35 years, but in captivity they can live more than 50 years.
The oldest alligator in captivity lives in the Belgrade Zoo in Serbia. He’s named Mujo, and he’s over 76 years old!
This is the ninth of 12 Things You Should Know about Alligators and Everglades Wildlife, a free eBook.
The alligator became the official state reptile of Florida in 1987.
Although claiming territory in the water can be difficult, crocodilians have found an effective method. Most species use a “headslap” or “jawclap.” A headslap is performed by an alligator or crocodile raising its head and slamming it against the surface of the water. To execute a jawclap the reptile opens its jaw at the surface of the water, then quickly closes it. The result is a loud pop and splash.
American alligators have between 74 and 80 teeth in their mouth at any given time. Each gator can go through 2,000 to 3,000 teeth during its lifetime!
More than eighty percent of baby alligators fall victim to wading birds, raccoons, bobcats, otters, snakes, large bass and even larger alligators. Once an alligator exceeds four feet, it is relatively safe from predators, but may still be vulnerable to cannibalism.
In Florida, you can travel on a road called Alligator Alley. This is actually Everglades Parkway, which is a section of Interstate 75 and State Road 84 extending from Naples on the west coast of Florida to Weston on the east. The name Alligator Alley was originally given by the American Automobile Association during planning because they believed it would be useless to cars, merely an “alley for alligators.” Nowadays it’s useful mainly to cars, but you will still see alligators frequenting the waterways beside the road and occasionally the road itself.