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Gator Attack Facts

Janie knows that working on Sanibels wetland areas as a landscaper means working alongside alligators.  One property she was working on is adjacent to a very small pond.  The pond is visited by several alligators but one male has earned a fearsome reputation amongst the local Sanibel community.

Janie knows that working on Sanibels wetland areas as a landscaper means working alongside alligators. One property she was working on is adjacent to a very small pond. The pond is visited by several alligators but one male has earned a fearsome reputation amongst the local Sanibel community. (View larger version)

Photograph by Getty Images

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  • The largest alligators reach up to 15 feet in length and those will be the males. The females are smaller; a large female can reach up to 10 feet.

  • Alligators, when they first hatch, are only eight inches long, these animals start out by eating insects, snails, and small fish and as they get a little bit bigger they start eating frogs, turtles, birds and small mammals.

  • There are over a million American alligators in Alabama, Arkansas, North and South Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Texas.

  • Alligators are apex predators, meaning they have no predators of their own aside from man, and they are at the top of the food chain in their natural environment.

  • Alligators and crocodiles have some of the most acidic stomachs among animals, strong enough to dissolve bone. When a limb is consumed by a gator, the chances of reattachment are basically nil.

  • Alligators can hear underwater, above water and can sense vibrations. When they hear splashing or noise, they will come to investigate.

  • Alligators are part of the crocodilian family. Worldwide there are 23 species of crocodilians.

  • Alligators can make sounds that humans are unable to hear. Humans hear sound that’s between 20 – 20,000 Hertz, and some alligator produced sounds are below 20 Hz.

  • Alligator skin is extremely thick and acts like a coat of armour. In addition, gators have ‘osteoderms’ on their back, which are small plates embedded into the skin that ad strength.

  • Alligators use their strong, long, flexible tail to assist in rapid movement through water. It also serves as an offensive and defensive weapon.

  • Alligators are cold-blooded; this doesn’t mean they literally have cold blood. Instead, their body temperature changes as the temperature around them changes.

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