How Alligators Work

Baby alligator
Alligators have been around on this planet for a whole lot longer than humans have! Kristian Bell/Getty Images

Alligators are absolutely amazing animals. They have been around for millions of years and are about as close as humans will ever get to seeing a living dinosaur. So how and why have they survived so long? They are nearly perfect animals for their environment, including U.S. states like Florida, Georgia, Alaba­ma and Louisiana.

But wait! There’s more …


  • Alligators can survive two to three years without eating.
  • Alligators are one of the few reptiles today that care for their young.
  • Alligators have vibration sensors on their skin that are extremely sensitive — they can detect even the slightest vibration and get out of harm’s way long before it arrives.

On the other hand, alligators can be quite dangerous. They are instinctual living machines. An alligator’s brain weighs only 8 or 9 grams and would take up only one-half of a tablespoon. This lack of brain power means there is no such thing as a “nice alligator.” If it’s hungry, an alligator will eat anything that moves. Pets and children who wander near an alligator pond are frequent victims of this instinctive behavior.


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