Now is the right time to read and memorize all these alligator facts for kids including alligators diet, habitat, reproduction, and physical features. An alligator is a crocodilian that belongs to the family of Alligatoridae, and the genus Alligator. Two alligator species have been discovered that are American alligator and the Chinese alligator. Besides, there are numerous species that came to the fore as a result of fossil remains. These reptiles emerged for the first time some 37 million years ago during the period of Oligocene. Hey little bunnies! Pat your back, now is the time to browse though some of the most interesting facts about alligators for kids.
Interesting Alligator Facts For Kids
Here are the most amazing facts about alligators for kids that explains all the physical characteristics and features of this wild animal:
- The weight of an adult alligator is about 800 pounds (360 kg).
- The length of the alligator measures around 13 feet (4.0 meters); however, it can grow to a size of about 14.5 feet (4.4 meters), with the weight measuring at 1,000 pounds (450 kg).
- The largest recorded alligator was measured 19 ft 2 in. (5.84 m).
- One of the smallest alligator species is Chinese alligator that measures around 7 feet (2.1 meters).
- On an average, alligators have 75 teeth.
- The exact lifespan of these animals is not known. Back in 1976, a one-year-old alligator was introduced into the Belgrade Zoo (Serbia) which is now 76 years old and is still alive.
Where Do Alligators Live
Alligators are the permanent residents of China and United States. American alligators are commonly found across Florida Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, Mississippi, and coastal south. Some of the species also reside in eastern Texas and Arkansas. Amongst all these alligators habitat, Louisiana is the place that is known to host largest alligators than any other states in U.S. There Florida and Louisiana both shares around one million alligators. In Southern Florida, crocodiles and alligators reside alongside.
These reptiles are fancy to build their habitats in freshwaters including wetlands, marshes, rivers, lakes, ponds, and swamps. Alligators habitat is also found in brackish environments. Alligators play major role in building habitats for other animals that are adept o live in holes or in wetlands. It is also noted that plants diversity is increased in areas where alligators are not uncommon. Consequently, these animals are regarded as essential player in upholding a sheer ecological balance.
Despite their bulky size and heavy body, alligators are proficient enough to gain speed in short bursts. These reptiles preferably prey on smaller animals because of the easiness in eating it in a single bite. Nonetheless, alligators also kill medium sized prey but for that they had to drag down the prey into the water to drown. The fight continues in the form of rolling its prey on the water surface. This is mainly practiced to tear down their prey into eatable pieces. The alligator’s muscles are perfectly designed to grip and drag down its prey no matter how big it is. Those muscles that are on the point of its jaws, are more stronger and powerful than the one that opens its jaws. Alligators do not typically attack humans, rather it attempts to hide itself when approached. It is illegal to feed wild alligators in Florida.
What type of food is to be eaten depends entirely on the size and age of alligators. The young alligators primarily consume fish, worms, crustaceans, and snails. The prey becomes larger as the size of the alligator grows bigger such as gar, turtles, large fish, muskrat, nutria deer, birds, other reptiles, and several mammals. These reptiles are also known to take on carrion when there is no enough food. The alligator’s stomach is adaptable to withhold gizzard stones, black bears, and even Florida panthers.
Besides, these reptiles also prey on nutria and muskrat that were known to cause relentless damage to coastal wetlands. As far as the Chinese alligator is concerned, they are typically found in the Yangtze River valley and are listed as extremely endangered species. There are no more than 10 or 12 Chinese alligators left in the wild. However, on the positive side organizations such as Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge is attempting preserve these species by keeping them in captivity in southern Louisiana.
The adult male alligators are largely solitary in that they will hunt and spend most of their time alone. However, the young species can be found in groups or some kinds of gatherings. The larger alligators are often responsible for looking after their territories from the potential predators.
The young alligators have somewhat forbearance attitude as compared to their adults.
Reproduction | Interesting Facts about Alligators For Kids
These reptiles become mature when they reach 6 feet (1.8 meters). The mating season begins in spring. The female alligators commonly build their habitats near vegetation or plants matter where the vegetation decomposition offers a considerable amount of heat that is required for the eggs incubation. The nests that are built on leaves are hotter as compared to the one on marshes or wetlands; as a result, the former gives rise to males whereas the latter results in females. The female is normally responsible for guarding over the nests and eggs. This protection continues for about 1 year. One of the greatest threats is from the adult fearsome alligators.
They are the only non-avian genus that is known to have one-way breathing. Besides, alligators have a muscular and moveable tail that also assists in dragging or rolling the larger prey on the water surface for in case it is immobile the alligator won’t be able to drown its prey. It also helps the animal to swim smoothly over the water surface. Some of the rarest alligators are Leucistic and albino that are virtually impossible to discover. The only possibility of their survival is to keep them in captivity and for the same reason attempts have been made, for example, Leucistic alligators were kept in the Aquarium of the Americas (New Orleans).