American Alligator

American Alligator

Latin name: Alligator mississippiensi

Powerful Jaws!

  • Its robust skull and powerful muscles allow the American alligator’s jaws to exert a pressure equal to 3,000 pounds psi. 
  • The American alligator is an opportunistic ambush predator that lies and waits for its preys; thanks to the strategic placement of its ears, eyes and nostrils atop its head, it is practically invisible at water level.
  • Crocodilians are the only reptiles that provide true parental care; once hatched, the young are transported gently in their mother’s jaw to the water hole where she keeps an eye on them. 
  • Alligators were given their name by the first Spanish explorers who called them “el legarto”, meaning “the lizard” in Spanish. 
  • The American alligator was a threatened species in the sixties, mostly due to the leather trade. Strict conservation measures we implemented and allowed the populations to recover, to the point that there are nearly a million individuals in Florida today.
  • Distribution Southeastern United States
  • Habitat Swamps, freshwater
  • Diet Carnivore
  • Status Least concern
  • Zoo Zone South America

More animals to discover