Alligator Bite: Interesting Alligator Facts For Curious Kids | Kidadl


Alligator Bite: Interesting Alligator Facts For Curious Kids

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Do you know what alligators eat? How big do they get? Do all alligators have teeth? These are all great questions that we will answer in this blog post!

Alligators are some of the most fascinating creatures on Earth, which fall under the genus Alligator of the order Crocodilia.

Currently, two extant species of the genus Alligator can be found worldwide. The Chinese alligator is endemic to China, and the American alligator is also the largest member of the Alligatoridae family.

According to studies, there were a total of eight alligator species, but only two of them are now extant species, and the rest have become extinct. Of the two alligator species that live in America, Mexico, and China, the American alligator, commonly called the 'gator,' is larger and heavier than the Chinese alligator. On average, the American alligators weigh around 790 lb (358.3 kg) and have a body length of 13 ft (4 m).

Did you know the largest-ever American alligator that people have been able to witness was an American gator measuring 19.2 ft (5.85 m) found in Louisiana? On the other hand, the Chinese alligator rarely exceeds the body length of 7 ft (2.1 m) and weighs around 100 lb (45.3 kg). The American alligators live in a freshwater habitat such as rivers, lakes, and ponds but, on occasion, can be found in brackish water as well. If you live in Louisiana or Florida, there are high chances you may have already come close to alligators, and their fairly similar sibling, the crocodile.

Do alligators bite?

American alligator swimming in pond.

Alligators are serious predators, and their bites are perhaps among the deadliest of all animals living in the wildlife. That said, even though wildlife officials have said on media that around a million such animals are living in Florida itself, there haven't been a lot of attacks ever since the record has been maintained.

An alligator does bite, and its bite is deadly, but at the same time, the animal does not go out of its way to bite humans. Several different types of research and results have concluded that the alligator is an opportunist animal and attacks people only when it runs out of other food options. An alligator usually chooses to bite and attack such an animal that can overpower easily, and humans generally don't fall under that category.

Besides food-related reasons, gator attacks also occur when the female alligator looks to protect her nest from any potential threat or when the mating male gator is overly aggressive. Interestingly, the majority of the reports of when an alligator bites humans have been recorded near the edge of a water body such as a lake or a pond, quite often when someone is fishing.

How strong is an alligator bite?

According to the report published by several research agencies, the alligator bite is the sixth strongest in the entire world, more powerful than the likes of a lion even. Over the years, there have been several instances where people have been victims of alligator bites. You may have come across such stories on the news as well.

A gator can cause serious harm with its bites. For a better understanding, when people eat steak, they generate a PSI or per square inch of a force of around 150-200 lb (68-90.7 kg), but gators are capable of generating a force of approximately 15-19 times greater than this, speaking leaps and bounds about the alligator bite strength. Even an average-sized adult Florida alligator is able to crush the bones of any human or animal if it gets hold of it.

Did you know the muscles involved in an alligator's jaw while closing it are stronger than the muscles involved in opening the jaw, which is why it is easier to hold an alligator's mouth shut without much difficulty?

What is the alligator bite force?

Alligators found all over America, especially in the parts of Louisiana, Florida are greatly feared for their unreal bite force. Even though the alligator does not occupy the first position in the bite force list, its bite force is greater than most other animals on this planet.

Alligators are capable of generating a bite force of around 2,980 PSI. To better put this in context, a tiger or a lion has a bite force of approximately 1,000 PSI, which shows how powerful an alligator's jaws are. At the same time, this is perhaps also a sign that you shouldn't trifle with this creature at any cost. Did you know that saltwater crocodiles have the strongest bite force of all animals today and that these creatures can exert 3,700 PSI of force per bite?

Alligator Bite: Infection

There are people who consider themselves lucky after surviving an alligator bite, and rightly so. Still, unfortunately, the threat of an alligator bite wound does not end after the body part has been amputated, as studies have found that there can be extensive risks of infection. Irrespective of whether it is a full-grown big alligator or a young baby alligator, all their bites are equally harmful and infectious.

Bacteria that enter the body of alligators from the animals they eat can get transferred to your body when they bite you. This bacterial infection, if left untreated, can prove to be eventually fatal. Thankfully, owing to recent studies, scientists have found how to treat the bacterial infections caused by alligator bites. Interestingly, if the infection is mild, then the antibiotics can be given orally, and they would be enough to treat the condition. But, if the infection is relatively serious, then the doctors would need to resort to giving the antibiotics intravenously, such as the piperacillin-tazobactam.

Written By
Aryan Khanna

<p>A dedicated and hardworking content writer currently pursuing his Bachelor's in Management Studies from St. Xavier's University, Kolkata. Aryan aims to gain corporate exposure and enhance his skills while creating well-researched and engaging content that is SEO-friendly. Aryan is a talented individual who puts in the effort to overcome any obstacle in his way.</p>

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