How Many Teeth Do Alligators Have Fang-tastic Facts For Kids

Akinwalere Olaleye
Oct 06, 2023 By Akinwalere Olaleye
Originally Published on Oct 14, 2021
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Alligator with powerful jaw and sharp teeth

The alligator is a reptile belonging to the Alligatoridae family.

Alligators are one of the few animals that are very easily confused with a crocodile. One of the noticeable differences is the teeth that stick out in a crocodile.

In alligators, the teeth do not stick out. While they can be very similar certain features makes the crocodiles different from alligators.

These features help in the identification of alligators. They mainly eat birds, mammals, fish, and reptiles. Since alligators are cold blooded animals they often find it hard to survive in cold temperatures as they do not have the ability to keep themselves warm like humans.

Gainsville one of the places in Florida has the largest alligator population. Florida is home to 1.2 million alligators.

This reptile is known to attack humans. But with a few preventive measures and precautions, it will not be a huge problem. The American alligator (alligator mississippiensis) is the most popular and largest alligator in North America.

The main habitat of alligators is freshwater lakes. These and other habitat regions are extensively being occupied by humans, This has resulted in most of the species becoming endangered.

Females are usually smaller than males and build their nests in secluded areas covered with a lot of vegetation. This animal can also attack humans.

The Chinese alligator is the most endangered alligator species. Apart from this, the largest of all alligators and the apex predator n the amazon river basin, the black caiman is also an endangered species. One of the most interesting alligator folklore is the one from China.

People say that the alligator is a water god. They also say alligators are related to dragons.

We have put together a bunch of fun and informative facts about North American alligators and other alligators. Continue reading to find out more. And do check out our other articles on how many buffalo are there and how many legs do ants have.

How many teeth do alligators have?

On average, alligators have between 74 - 80 teeth in their mouth at a time. They are conical-shaped. An alligator can rip and swallow its food, but it cannot chew. If a tooth is broken or falls down it is replaced with new teeth.

An alligator can go through 2000 to 3,000 teeth in a lifetime. The jaws are strong enough to even crack open a turtle shell. The young ones have 60 teeth that work as tools while hunting small prey like a fish or small bird.

Did you know, a female alligator will carry eggs in her mouth enclosed within the powerful jaws from the nest to a water source? Mothers are very affectionate and take great care of their children for up to a year. It might in some cases continue even after a year.

Types Of Teeth Alligators Have

An alligator's tooth is long and sharp. They are aligned with some space between each other. Throughout the jaws, the teeth are irregularly shaped. They have long teeth in the front middle and at the back.

These are mainly used for piercing the prey. The rest of the short ones help in holding the prey down. A young alligator has small teeth and they are somewhat evenly shaped.

Alligator with mouth wide open isolated on white background

Functions Of Different Alligator Teeth

An alligator's tooth is one of the main tools used in hunting. The alligator has strong jaws consisting of multiple teeth. They are sharp and specially designed to hunt prey. When an alligator gets hold of its prey the teeth pierce through the prey's skin making it unable to move.

Their teeth do not help much in chewing or grinding the pieces of prey. This is why they swallow the prey wholly.

Since they are carnivorous animals that hunt fiercely the teeth play a vital role. For this reason, when it is worn out or has defects it is replaced every now and then. Food consumption can cause the teeth to lose their sharp nature after a while.

Fun Facts About Alligator Teeth

The American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis), in southeastern parts, is the largest of all reptiles. Alligators grow throughout their life.

They never stop growing. Alligators are extremely clever. They have a hunting technique wherein they cover themselves in sticks and leaves near lakes and rivers.

They bend well in the mud next to water sources and remain quiet for hours to attract birds that are looking for nest material. The adult male alligator can grow up to 19 ft (5.8 m) and weigh up to 1000 lb (453.5 kg). The main habitat of alligators is freshwater lakes.

Apart from that, they are mostly seen in areas filled with mud ad thick vegetation. The most number of alligators are found in and near Florida.

The Chinese alligator is one of the alligators that are on the verge of extinction. The main reason for their extinction is the conversion of freshwater lakes and other major habitats into agricultural lands.

Alligators are mainly found in freshwater lakes. They cannot saltwater for a long time as the salt glands that help in staying in saltwater is sent.

Alligator meat is one of the tastiest meats in the world. It is used in making fancy dishes and exotic cuisines. People from all over the world seem to have developed a liking towards it.

The mouth shape of an alligator is different. Unlike a crocodile that cannot keep all of its teeth hidden, the number of teeth in the lower jaw easily fits within the number of teeth in the upper jaw keeping all the teeth of an alligator hidden, the snout is U shaped and broad.

Females can be found in a nest with nests with sticks and thick vegetation. This helps in burying several hard shells.

The vegetation is like a secret hideout that ensures the eggs are hidden even when the female alligator is not around, but this is a very rare case as female alligators do not leave the nesting site for a moment.

American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) can grow up to 10 ft (3 m) with the older ones growing up to 15 ft (4.5 m).

Due to their large size, American alligators can hunt large birds and mammals. The incubation period of alligators is 65 days.

During this time the mother is very sensitive and protective of the eggs. You are dead meat even if you step into the areas next to where the eggs are placed.

Though alligators spend most of their time in the water they love the sun and tend to bask in sun. When the temperatures of the water sources drop they do this to keep themselves warm.

The lifetime of an alligator is between 30 - 50 years in the wild. In captivity, they can live up to 70 years.

The young alligators at the end of the incubation period, which is usually during august start making noises to let the mother know that it is time to take off all the nest material and bring them out into the world. The young ones stick with their parents and they learn hunting skills for about three years.

The temperature of an egg plays a huge role in determining the sex of the American alligator (alligator mississippiensis).

For the mother to produce a male alligator the egg has t0 be exposed to a temperature above 83 F (34 C) and for it to be a female it has to be exposed to a temperature above 86 F (30 C)The egg of an alligator is soft and mushy.

An alligator can produce 20 - 50 eggs in one season. Recent reports state that alligators also eat fruits with high citrus content and wild grapes.

Alligators create small holes to hold eaters in a dry season. This animal is hunted for its skin.

American alligators are closely related to dinosaurs. It is believed that alligators and dinosaurs coexisted several million years ago.

Both males and females hiss when they sense predators. The habitat range of both the males and females measures differently during the breeding season.

This reptile apart from swimming can also walk and run. In North, America alligators symbolize adaptability and survival.

Alligator teeth are used as chains in many pacific islands. They believe that it protects them from serious diseases.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for how many teeth do alligators have then why not take a look at facts about how many teeth do sharks have, or how many teeth do snails have?

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Written by Akinwalere Olaleye

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature

Akinwalere Olaleye picture

Akinwalere OlaleyeBachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature

As a highly motivated, detail-oriented, and energetic individual, Olaleye's expertise lies in administrative and management operations. With extensive knowledge as an Editor and Communications Analyst, Olaleye excels in editing, writing, and media relations. Her commitment to upholding professional ethics and driving organizational growth sets her apart. She has a bachelor's degree in English Literature from the University of Benin, Edo State. 

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