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Fun And Interesting Facts About Alligators

Alligators are large reptiles, members of the order Crocodylia. Alligators and crocodiles are, therefore, closely related, and people often confuse one with the other; however, these two reptiles are very different.

Although often confused with crocodiles, alligators can easily be distinguished from crocodiles by the shape of their snout. While alligators have broad u-shaped snouts, crocodiles’ snouts are v-shaped. We will dish out 10 interesting facts about the alligator on today's Nature and Wildlife.

1. There are just two different species of alligator, the American alligator and the Chinese alligator.

2. Using their tails, alligators can climb up to five feet out of the water to grab prey perched in trees with low branches. That is quite impressive — and terrifying.

3. Alligators eat each other. Young alligators are at risk of being consumed by their bigger counterparts. It's estimated that 1 out of 5 alligators survived childhood.

4. Unlike their much more aggressive cousin, the crocodile, alligators don’t usually prey on humans. They prefer smaller targets like fish or birds. Sometimes, though, small children can be mistaken for a desirable target, and attacks do occur. If you are in an area heavily populated by alligators, like Florida, be alert about your surroundings and keep small children in your sight.

5. The temperature of the nest determines the sex of the baby. For alligators, nests built on dry leaves are warmer, and will end up male, while nests built in a cool muddy area will be female.

6. The eyes of a large alligator will glow red and those of a smaller will glow green when a light is shined on them. This fact can be used to find alligators in the dark.

7. Alligators have a powerful bite but the muscles that open the jaw are relatively weak. An adult human could hold the jaws of an alligator shut with their bare hands.

8. You really, really don’t want to be bitten by an alligator. A 2004 study of wild and captive alligators found that large individuals bite down with 13,172 Newtons–or 2960 pounds–of force, one of the most powerful bites

ever recorded for a living animal.

9. Alligators are tough—and not just because of the bony armor in their skins. Serum in American alligator blood is incredibly effective at combating bacteria and viruses, meaning that even alligators that lose limbs in mucky swamps often avoid infection.

10. The average lifespan of an alligator is about 50 years in the wild .

Nature and Wildlife will be back next week with more interesting animal facts.

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