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Monday, 1 August 2011



There are only two living species: A. mississipiensis, the Mississippi alligator of the southern states of the USA, and A. sinensis from the swamps of the lower Chang Jiang River in China.

The name alligator is an anglicized form of "el lagarto," the Spanish term for "lizard", which early Spanish explorers and settlers in Florida called the alligator. While the big lizards were for a time referred to as "lagartos," the "el" accompanied often enough that it became an inseparable part of the English word.

The earliest recorded form of alligator that is similar to ours appears in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet: "In his needie shop a tortoyrs hung. An Allegater stuft."

The Marquis de Lafayette gave President John Quincy Adams a pet alligator. The alligator lived in the White House for several months.

The alligator is the state reptile of Florida.

An estimated five million American alligators are spread out across the southeastern United States.

The majority of American alligators inhabit Florida and Louisiana, with over a million alligators in each state.

South Florida is the only place in the world where alligators and crocodiles coexist in the wild.

In Florida, it is a misdemeanor of the second degree to intentionally feed a wild alligator.


An alligator has about 80 teeth in its mouth at one time and can go through over 2000 teeth in a lifetime.

An alligator's sex is based on the average temperature of the egg during incubation. Temperatures over 93 degrees F will produce only males and below 86 degrees F only females.

Alligators lay their eggs in waterside nests of mud and vegetation and are good mothers.

Alligators in Louisiana have learned to balance sticks on their heads for hunting purposes. They specifically do it during egret and heron nesting season, when the birds are actively searching for nest materials.

When resting, alligators can lower their heart rate down to as low as two beats per minute.

The Mississippi alligator is the largest reptile in North America. Male alligators average 8 to 10 feet long, while females tend to be slightly smaller.

The largest Alligator ever recorded was found in Louisiana and measured 19 feet 2 inches.

Alligators have an incredibly resilient immune system. They don't get serious infections from cuts and bruises even while living in bacteria infested swamps.

Alligator blood is effective against 23 types of bacteria, and fungi and viruses including HIV.

Lorne Greene had one of his nipples bitten off by an alligator while he was host of Lorne Greene's Animal Kingdom.

Alligators and elderly people have at least one thing in common. They both can hear notes only up to 4,000 vibrations a second.


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