1. The American Alligator is found only in the southeastern part of the United States. Florida has the highest population of alligators where alligators can be found in almost every single body of water.
2. . Lake Jesup is home to some of Florida’s most unique wildlife, including more alligators and more species of birds than any other lake in Florida.
3. The alligator is a very important part of our wildlife heritage, and plays an extremely important part in Florida’s ecosystem. During the dry season, alligators create “gator holes” which may be the only source of water around. This provides nourishment for other wildlife as well as the alligator.
4. Despite their appearances, alligators are extremely quick and agile. They are capable of amazingly fast bursts of speed, but only for a short distance.
5. Alligators in the wild are believed to live 35-50 years. In captivity their life span may be significantly longer, perhaps 60-80 years.
6. The longest recorded length for an alligator is 19’2″. Most wild alligators do not get above 13 feet in length and may weigh 600 pounds or more.
7. Alligators are carnivorous reptiles whose primary feeding time is at night. Small alligators will eat snails, frogs, insects and small fish. Larger gators will eat fish, turtles, snakes, waterfowl, small mammals, and even smaller alligators.
8. Alligators have specialized valve in their throat called a glottis that enables the gator to capture its prey underwater. However, in order to swallow its food and keep itself from drowning, an alligator must lift its head out of the water.
9. Alligators are not to be feared, but they are to be respected. One of the most important rules to remember is, should you see an alligator in the wild, leave it alone. Alligators are now protected by both state and federal regulations. It is illegal to hunt or trap a wild alligator without a permit.
Born in 1969, Hammy the Alligator has since passed, still a good video to check out!