Do you known what do alligators eat? Stick to the end of this post and you’ll know all what you need. Alligators are large territorial animals especially males, with largest species tend to defend the primarily territory.
The small alligators are commonly found in large gatherings. Despite its bulky size and weight, alligators are capable to make short bursts to grasp preys on land. They have a slow metabolism. Alligators primarily prey on smaller species which they kill with a single bite.
Mostly, alligators prefer to eat food which can be consumed in one bite. Since they have a slow metabolic rate, alligators aren’t often involved in eating frequently. An adult alligator can gain a weigh of fifty pounds of prey each year, and it can also survive for one year without eating.
The muscles of alligator’s jaws are perfectly adaptable to grip and bite its prey. The muscles that close the jaws are remarkably powerful; however, the muscles for opening the jaws are relatively weak. They don’t often come into direct conflict with humans and they swim away if one approaches. They can be dangerous if provoked.
What Do Alligators Eat
Alligators are carnivorous. Depending entirely on the size and age, alligators feed on diverse kinds of food. Alligators do not chew their food but gulp it down completely or tear off and wolf down large chunks, leaving their powerful digestive juices to do the rest.
Young alligators consume smorgasbord invertebrate fare, blue crabs, crayfish, aquatic insects, surface-walking spiders, fiddler crabs, errant grasshoppers, crustaceans, worms, fish, insects, and snails. With the increase in its size, the size of the prey also increases and now they can prey on larger fish, several mammals, gar, turtles, nutria, muskrat, deer, birds, and other reptiles. The alligator’s stomach often contains gizzard stones.
See also: How Long Do Alligators Live
These animals also feed on carrion when there is not abundant food. Occasionally, they also consume ambush dogs, black bears, and Florida panther. This makes it the apex predator all throughout its distribution. They seldom attack humans and the fact that humans have encroached many of their habitats, a handful number of attacks have been reported. They also prey on frogs.
What Do American Alligators Eat
(What Do Alligators Eat)
The American alligator is by far the most apex predator within its range. They are considered to be opportunistic feeders and like other alligators, the prey is primarily determined by the age and size of the animal.
See also: American Alligator Facts
Many alligators feed on various animals such as turtles, amphibians, fish, birds, invertebrates, snakes, and mammals in their life cycle. The young alligators are known to consume snails, spiders, worms, insects, and larvae. The size of the prey increases with the size of American alligator. Once they become fully mature, they are often involved in hunting potential prey that comes for drinking water.
Alligators commonly prey on species that are smaller than their own size. The most common prey includes raccoons and muskrats. However, in nutria the frequent prey is Louisiana.
American alligators are also known to prey on large animals including wild boars and deer but these animals do not constitute a regular diet. Alligators rarely prey on calves and dogs. Some other preys are birds such as herons and egrets, waterfowls, storks, and water birds. American alligators also feed on several invertebrates, lizards, and snakes.
The adult alligators spend most of its time hunting on land up to 50 meters (170 feet) from water. They tend to drag its prey to the water and rolling the prey to drown it. The American alligator’s teeth are strong enough to bite even the turtle’s shell or a moderately-sized mammal bone.