Alligator Facts
  1. The American alligator and dinosaurs are cousins. Both alligators and dinosaurs descended from a common ancestor more than 200 million years ago.
  2. An alligator can live in fresh or brackish water (a mix of fresh and salt water). This includes canals, lakes, marshes, swamps, rivers, creeks and ponds.
  3. An alligator has five toes on its front feet and four webbed toes on its back feet which help it swim.
  4. An alligator can live for more than 50 years in captivity. The oldest alligator in captivity in over 76 years old and lives in a zoo in Siberia. 
  5. An alligator eats mainly fish, turtles, various mammals, birds, and other reptiles.
  6. There are around 1.2 million alligators in Florida.
  7. The American alligator is the official state reptile of Florida.
  8. An alligator has roughly 80 teeth in its mouth at one time. As the teeth wear down they are replaced with new teeth. An average alligator can go through 2,000 to 3,000 teeth in a lifetime.
  9. An adult male alligator can grow as large as 14 feet and weigh more than 1,000 pounds.
  10. Alligators bask in the sun to keep warm.
  11. There are differences between alligators and crocodiles. Most noticeably, when an alligator's mouth is closed you cannot see its teeth; when a crocodile's mouth is closed, the fourth tooth on its lower jaw sticks out.
  12. An alligator can rip and swallow its food, but it cannot chew.
  13. An alligator can stay underwater without air for more than two hours.
  14. Never approach or feed an alligator. Feeding alligators makes them lose their fear of humans. Feeding an alligator is against the law.