Did you know that there are an estimated 5 million American alligators spread out across the southeastern United States? These reptiles are found in states throughout the American South and Southeast.
While they’re a predator to all smaller creatures, humans, and most animals, the fact remains that there are a lot of alligator facts that you have to learn.
Don’t worry, we’ll tell you. Here are some of the most interesting facts about alligators.
1. There Are Only Two Species of Alligator Alive Today
There are two alligator species alive today the American alligator and the Chinese alligator. Both species can grow to be over 15 feet long and weigh over 500 pounds.
Alligators are known to be great swimmers, however, they are far more powerful on land with their huge tails propelling them forward in huge leaps. Alligators primarily feed on fish, but they’ll eat just about anything they can catch, including small mammals and birds.
2. The Loudest Reptile in the World
They are capable of ‘bellowing’ at a volume exceeding 115 decibels, which is similar to the sound of a loud rock concert. It is thought that male alligators use these loud sounds in order to intimidate potential rivals and attract potential mates.
Interestingly, baby alligators are capable of producing sounds too, albeit at much lower volumes. Alligator calls vary in frequency, tone, and duration and are used to engage in communication with other alligators. Alligators can also hiss, which is believed to be a form of protesting or a warning signal.
3. Alligator Blood is Antibiotic and Antiviral
It has been used as an alternative to antibiotics for treating a variety of ailments, including bacterial and fungal infections. Alligators produce a range of hormones and peptides in their blood which can help to kill off certain types of bacteria and viruses.
The blood of an alligator was found to be effective against a variety of microbes, including the bacteria Staphylococcus, E. coli, and Streptococcus. Additionally, the alligator’s blood was found to be effective against a range of viruses, such as hepatitis C and hantaviruses.
4. Alligators Can’t Survive in Salt Water
Alligators are freshwater animals and struggle to adapt to saltwater environments. This means that alligators cannot live in the ocean, even though they are often associated with the beach due to their proximity to marshlands. Alligators are quite a resilient species, but they are still bound to freshwater environments, as the elevated level of salt found in ocean waters is simply too much for the creatures to handle.
5. Alligator Eyes Glow in the Dark
Alligators’ eyes glow in the dark, a phenomenon known as “eyeshine.” This occurs because of a layer of tissue in the back of their eyes called the tapetum lucidum. It contains cells that reflect light that allows the eyes to appear to glow.
Interestingly, different species of alligators have differently colored eyeshine, with some having a deep yellow or red glow, and some displaying an eerie blue-green glow. Alligators rely heavily on this natural night vision, as it allows them to hunt successfully in the dark and navigate their surroundings. If you are fascinated by alligators, you can buy an alligator head for a wall-mount display.
Interesting Facts About Alligators
Alligators are truly fascinating creatures! With their powerful bites, agility, and ability to adapt, it’s no wonder why they are so iconic. To learn more facts about alligators, visit your local zoo or online for more interesting facts about these impressive animals.
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