Florida Alligator Information Page ...
Central Florida Alligator facts brought to you by
Tom and Jerrys Airboat Adventures. When you take an
airboat ride with Turtleback Airboat Adventures you will see lots of
alligators and wildlife.
Here you will get the information
in advance before starting your alligator sightseeing
tours. Alligators are a big part of the Florida ecotourism
so bring your camera and get some pictures of gators in
their natural habitat.
: Alligator Mississippiensis
OTHER NAMES : Alligator, Gator,
Florida Gator, Florida Alligator
range of the American Alligator extends south from coastal
swamps in North and South Carolina to the tip of southern
Florida, then west along the Gulf Coast to the mouth of the
Rio Grande. Alligators range inland throughout the southern
HABITAT: Alligators live in
freshwater lakes, rivers, and swamps. They occasionally live
in brackish water.
DESCRIPTION: The average size
for an adult female American alligator is 8.2 feet (2.6 m),
and the average size for a male is 11.2 feet (3.4 m).
Exceptionally large males can reach a weight of nearly half
a ton or 1,000 pounds.
Both males and females have
an "armored" body with a muscular flat tail. The skin on the
back is armored with embedded bony plates called Buttons.
They have four short legs; the front legs have five toes
while the back legs have four toes.
a long wide snout with upward facing nostrils at the end;
this lets them breathe while the rest of the body is
underwater. The young can be distinguished from adults by
the bright yellow stripes on the tail; adults have dark
stripes on the tail
SIZE: The growth rate of
alligators varies with food availability and temperature. At
the northern limits of its range, or when food is scarce,
alligators grow slowly. In Florida, where food is abundant,
young alligators can grow about one foot (30 centimeters)
per year with the greatest growth in the first year.
The weight of an alligator in relation to its length can
vary greatly. One 11 foot 6 inch (3.5 meter) alligator
weighed 591 pounds (265 kilograms), whereas another
alligator measuring 12 feet 1 inch (3.7 meters) weighed only
460 pounds (209 kilograms).
On land alligators can
lumber along dragging their tails, or they can walk on their
toes with heels of the hind feet and most of the tail well
off the ground. Using this "high walk" alligators can run up
to 30 miles per hour (38 kHz) for short distances!
17 feet 5 inches long
Food value of the alligator is excellent. The tail is sought
after as a delicacy in the south. The hide is also valued in
the textile industry for making boots, purses, wallets and