Fun Alligator Facts For Kids

Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason
Oct 20, 2022 By Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Natalie Rayworth
Fact-checked by Deeti Gupta
Here are interesting albino alligator facts for kids.
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Age: 3-18
Read time: 7.0 Min

Alligators are a type of crocodile that belongs to the genus Alligator of the family Alligatoridae. Like other crocodilians they are huge in size when compared to other species of animals.

The largest recorded alligator was found in Louisiana, and the Chinese alligator is smaller and weighs considerably less. There is no average lifespan of an alligator that is measured. This species have protection under the law to ensure that their population remains steady.

The type of food that these crocodilians eat mainly depends on their age and the size of their body. Alligators have tails that are muscular and flat, which they propel in swimming.

Humans also consume alligator meat. Alligators who can survive in captivity are a lot less in number. There are different species of alligators, including orange alligator, Florida alligator, albino alligator, American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis), and more.

Here are some of the most interesting American alligator facts for you. After reading these giant alligator facts including baby alligator facts, you may also check out green anaconda facts and Burmese python facts.

Alligator Interesting Facts

What type of animal is an alligator?

American alligator is a type of crocodile which belongs to the genus Alligator of the family Alligatoridae. These crocodilians are large semi-aquatic reptiles that are found in Southeastern United States and China.

What class of animal does an alligator belong to?

American alligators belong to the class of reptiles. Alligators breathe only with the help of their lungs and have scaly skin that prevents them from drying out. Baby alligators hatch from the eggs that they lay on the land.

How many alligators are there in the world?

There is no accurate number as to how many alligators there are in the world, as there are different species of alligators that are spread all across the globe. Alligators are no longer considered in the class of Endangered species.

Where does an alligator live?

Alligators are mainly found in freshwater and rivers that are slow-moving. Some alligators even live in swamps, marshes, and lakes. Their body can also tolerate salt for brief periods of time, but as they do not have salt glands they cannot sustain this for a long period of time.

What is an alligator's habitat?

American alligator habitat comprises of freshwater and slow-moving rivers. Their body can also tolerate salt for brief periods, but as these crocodilians do not have salt glands they cannot sustain it for a long period of time.

Who do alligators live with?

Large alligators prefer to live alone as they do not like to share their personal space with anyone or anything. They try to defend their territory so that no one tries to get near them.

Alligators that are small in size, young and female alligators often live in groups that are near to each other. Young alligators stay with their mothers till they get sexually matured.

How long does an alligator live?

The lifespan of an American alligator is about 30 to 50 years, but this depends on other factors such as changes in the environment, surroundings, food, nutrition and weather changes.

How do they reproduce?

American alligator species reproduces sexually, and the courtship between the male and the female takes place during the months of January and February. The male and the females rub their heads and bodies together before they start mating in the water.

The mating process includes rubbing snouts and also submerging, and then the sexual intercourse takes place.

The crocodiles reproduce with the help of internal fertilization, and the mothers look after their nests once they lay a clutch of approximately 30 to 50 eggs in a mound nest created from vegetation and detritus.

This ensures that the eggs stay warm with the decay of the vegetation. When the eggs hatch and the young ones are born, the females carry them in the mouth to the water nearby.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of these reptiles is Not Extinct as per the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Previously, due to hunting for alligator skin, the alligator population had reduced drastically.

Due to this, the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) was declared as Endangered by the Endangered Species Act of 1973. Their numbers have now reached a safe level, owing to the protection efforts by different authorities at their alligator farms.

Alligator Fun Facts

What do alligators look like?

Alligators have bodies that are long and a snout that is round in shape. They have nostrils that facing upwards at the end, which allows them to breathe while the rest of their body is under the water.

The adults have stripes on the tail that are dark, whereas young alligators have stripes that are yellow in color. The main feature that distinguishes an alligator from a crocodile is its teeth.

An alligator diet consists of fish, snails, worms, insects and more.

How cute are they?

Alligators are not at all cute in their appearance. Instead, they look gross. They are very dangerous in nature, and there are chances that they might kill human beings.

How do they communicate?

The way alligators communicate is through slapping the water. The sound travels faster in water, and therefore they slap the water in order to send a message to the other alligators.

How big is an alligator?

The alligator's size differs from one species to another. The American alligators are 120-180 in (10-15 ft) long. The largest alligator recorded was the American alligator, which was around 180 in (15 ft), and was killed in 2014.

How fast can an alligator move?

Alligators move at the speed of 20 mph (32 kmph) in the water. The crocodiles are adapted more to living in the water than on the land, and therefore they can’t move fast when they are on land.

How much does an alligator weigh?

The weight of an alligator differs from one species to another. The average weight of an American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) is 110-453 lb (49-205 kg). The biggest alligator ever recorded weighed 1011 lb (458 kg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

American alligator males are known as bulls, and the females are known as cows.

What would you call a baby alligator?

Baby alligators are called hatchlings. After being born, they stay with females for some time as they are otherwise vulnerable to predators.

What do they eat?

American alligators prey on insects, amphibians and invertebrates. They also eat fish, snakes, turtles, small mammals, and birds.

Are they dangerous?

Alligators, being apex predators, are very dangerous and can harm or attack human beings whenever they are left alone.

Would they make a good pet?

Alligators are not good pets. Though they are fascinating creatures, having an alligator as a pet is not a good idea for many reasons. They are wild animals and grow very long in size. So, it is advisable not to have alligators as pets in the house.

Did you know...

Male alligators tend to grow throughout their life, and male adult alligators are larger compared to the females. They use tools such as lures for hunting their prey.

Alligators are known to be ecosystem engineers. They are the apex predators that also eat different types of fruits. The female adult alligators are the ones who are devoted as a mother to their hatchlings.

Alligators can be found across the US, and particularly in states such as: Texas, Florida, Louisiana and Alabama.

Alligators can use their noses to detect many things including prey, but they can also smell blood.

Alligator vs. crocodile

The most important difference between while comparing crocodile vs alligator, is their appearance, specifically the snout. Crocodiles have a longer and a pointier snout whereas alligators have short and round snout.

Another striking difference is that when an alligator's mouth is closed, you cannot see its lower jaw, but when a crocodile's mouth is closed, you are able to see its upper as well as lower jaw, along with the pointy teeth.

The length of a crocodile is more than the length of an alligator. Crocodiles are known to be more dangerous and aggressive than alligators.

How many teeth do alligators have?

Alligators have 80 teeth that are shaped conically.

What does alligator taste like?

The alligator meat has a mild flavor and a texture that is firm. It almost tastes like that of quail and has a fish flavor that is mild and is often chewy depending on how you prepare it.

How to draw an alligator?

Draw the front half of the body first. Then, draw the back half with a curved tail. Add an arm and a leg on one side. Add an arm and a leg on the other side as well.

Then draw their nostrils, eyes, teeth, and back ridges. Draw a horizon line and water edge. Then add some grass to the bottom front. Trace with a marker and then color. And this is how your drawing of an alligator is ready.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other reptiles including sand lizard, or bog turtle.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one of our realistic alligator coloring pages.

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Sources

https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/867/3146005

https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/46583/3009637

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alligator

https://www.nwf.org/Educational-Resources/Wildlife-Guide/Reptiles/American-Alligator

https://nationalzoo.si.edu/animals/american-alligator

https://nationalzoo.si.edu/animals/chinese-alligator

https://china.wcs.org/Wildlife/Chinese-Alligator.aspx

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Written by Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason

Bachelor of Science specializing in Mass Communication.

Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason picture

Adekunle Olanrewaju JasonBachelor of Science specializing in Mass Communication.

With over 3+ years of professional experience, Olanrewaju is a certified SEO Specialist and Content Writer. He holds a BSc in Mass Communication from the University of Lagos. Throughout his dynamic career, Olanrewaju has successfully taken on various roles with startups and established organizations. He has served as a Technical Writer, Blogger, SEO Specialist, Social Media Manager, and Digital Marketing Manager. Known for his hardworking nature and insightful approach, Olanrewaju is dedicated to continuous learning and improvement.
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Fact-checked by Deeti Gupta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature

Deeti Gupta picture

Deeti GuptaBachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature

A detail-oriented fact-checker with a research-oriented approach. Devika has a passion for creative writing, she has been published on multiple digital publishing platforms and editorials before joining the Kidadl team. Currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from St.Xavier's College, Deeti has won several accolades and writing competitions throughout her academic career.

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