5 Fun Facts about Alligators
By Jungle Erv • January 24, 2019
Alligators inspire a great deal of fear and respect in most people, as well they should. But they’re also rather misunderstood creatures with fascinating lives and habits. The American Alligator (alligator mississippiensis) is the largest reptile in North America and has some incredible quirks and unbelievable qualities. Going on an Everglades alligator tour? Read up beforehand so you can fully appreciate these creatures when you see them.
1. An alligator can go through as many as 2,000 teeth in their lifetime
Alligators’ mouths are packed with 74-80 teeth at a time–and when their teeth wear down or fall out, another tooth grows to replace it. How’s that for dental insurance? Don’t let that scare you though- we won’t let you get too close to an alligator’s teeth on your Everglades airboat tour!
2. Alligator gender is determined by the temperature of their eggs
Alligator eggs that stay above 93 degrees Fahrenheit become males. Those that stay right around 86 degrees become females. And the ones incubated at those middle temperatures could go either way. You likely won’t see any alligator eggs on your airboat tour, but be aware that there probably are some alligator nests hiding in the marsh grasses!
3. Alligators never stop growing
As long as they live, alligators continue to grow longer and more powerful. Some elderly males can be as much as 16 feet long and 1,000 or more pounds. It’s no wonder they’re at the top of the food chain in the southeastern U.S.
4. Alligators have been known to use tools to trap prey
By propping sticks and branches on their heads, alligators can attract birds that are on the lookout for nest-building supplies. In this way, they’re great at catching a wannabe homebuilder for a midmorning snack
5. Alligators live in burrows
Alligators dig burrows from mud banks or soil near the water. Those alligator holes become an essential part of the ecosystem when abandoned, giving other small animals a place to live and providing a crucial source of water during dryer seasons. Keep your eyes peeled while on your air boat tour, and you might just spot an alligator burrow.
Keep these amazing facts in mind next time you see an alligator on an airboat tour of the Florida Everglades- they are definitely more than meets the eye! Stick around after your alligator tour at Jungle Erv’s for our educational show to learn even more about these fascinating creatures.