Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Facts About Alligators - strangefacts

  • Lorne Green had one of his nipples bitten off by an alligator while host of Lorne Green's Wild Kingdom
  • There are only two countries on earth that have alligators: the United States and China
  • Although alligators have heavy bodies and slow metabolisms, they are capable of short bursts of speed that can exceed 30 miles per hour, though this could more properly be classified as a short fast lunge rather than a dash
  • Alligators are opportunistic feeders, eating almost anything they can catch
  • While alligators are often confused with crocodiles, they belong to two quite separate taxonomic families, and are as distinct from one another as humans are from gorillas
  • One generally reliable rule to distinguish between alligators and crocodiles is that alligators have U-shaped heads, while crocodiles are V-shaped
  • The East Alligator River in Australia's Northern Territory contains crocodiles, not alligators
  • In Arkansas, alligators may not be kept in bathtubs
  • Alligators in the wild are believed to live 35 - 50 years. In captivity their lifespan may be significantly longer, perhaps 60-80 years. Currently, there are no scientific methods of analyzing an alligators age while it is alive
  • The longest recorded length for an alligator is 19' 2'. This animal was trapped in the early 1900's in the State of Louisiana. Most wild alligators do not get above 13 feet in length, and may weigh 600 pounds or more
  • Crocodiles and alligators open their jaws differently. The jaws of the crocodile are hinged to open the top jaw, while alligators open their bottom
  • Alligators and crocodiles jaws are hinged the same. Both animals hinge their jaws on the bottom, the top jaw is simply an extension of the skull
  • Alligators are not immune to snake poison. However, they do have extremely tough skin, and an armored back protected by bony plates called scutes
  • It is possible that this protection may prevent a snake's fangs from penetrating the skin
  • Although the tail of the alligator is considered the prime cut, all the meat of the alligator is edible
  • Alligators are slow moving animals when they are out of the water
  • Alligators can run at speeds of up to 20 miles per hour. However that speed can only be maintained for a very short distance
  • The alligator is an amazing reptile, having survived almost unchanged since the time of the dinosaurs. Having been hunted almost to the brink of extinction, this reptile has made an amazing comeback in recent years, inhabiting almost every body of water in Florida
  • The relationship between alligators and man dates back thousands of years. The first human residents of Florida hunted the alligator for its hide and meat
  • The teeth of an alligator were believed to be a magical ward against snakebites, as alligators were thought to be immune to the bite of poisonous snakes
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