Alligators: Fun Facts
Alligators Are Fascinating
These toothy reptiles rule the swamp lands in Florida and along the Gulf Coast of the United States. I knew little about alligators before I moved to Florida. Now I have quite a bit of respect for the creatures. Actually alligators are pretty fascinating. Here's what I've learned from seven years of observing alligators in my backyard.
I've collected some fun facts about alligators for you to enjoy. Some information I've observed myself and other alligator facts are from nature sites. I've added lots of cute alligator graphics. If you see one you like, just click on it and it takes you to Zazzle where you can buy the alligator design on a t-shirt, poster, magnet or other product.
(photo by Virginia Allain)
Strange Things Found in Alligators' Stomachs
* plastic toy soldier
* plastic turtle toy
* golf balls
* a sandal
My Photos from GatorWorld
My Visit to Gatorland
In February 2015, we visited Gatorland for the third time. I guess you can tell we love alligators. This is a great place to go when you are in the Orlando area.
They had all sizes of the creatures, from tiny babies that were small enough to hold in your hand and up to enormous ones that could probably swallow me in about 3 or 4 gulps. The visitors walk on raised boardwalks and have strong fences protecting them from the wildlife.
We watched the Gator Jumparoo show and later the Gator Wrestling. The fellows that perform in these shows are either pretty brave or just foolhardy. I'm not sure which.
There was an open train that circles the swamp area so you can see the animals in their natural habitat. Birds like egrets, storks and herons enjoyed the swamp life as well.
I took about 200 photos, but will just share a few here.
Where to See Alligators - Alligator Farms and Alligator Tourist Sites
Places to See Alligators
- Gatorland | Orlando Family Attraction | Adventure Theme Park | Orlando, Florida
Founded by the late Owen Godwin in 1949, Gatorland is a 110-acre alligator theme park and wildlife preserve, combining Old Florida charm with exciting, new exhibits and entertainment.
- Alligator Adventure | Reptile Capital of the World!
At Alligator Adventure you'll find yourself face to face with nature's fiercest and most beautiful animals. Located adjacent to Barefoot Landing in North Myrtle Beach, one of South Carolina's most outstanding tourist attractions, Alligator Adventure
- Everglades Alligator Farm - Park Info
Everglades Alligator Farm, one of Homestead's busiest attractions draws tourist and camera crews from all over the world. This privately owned attraction is a real working alligator farm.
- Boggy Creek Airboat Rides
Search the thrilling swamp for wildlife including the intimidating Florida alligator through the Central Florida Everglades on Coast Guard approved airboat.
- St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park and Crocodile Crossing Zip Line
Founded in 1893, the St. Augustine Alligator Farm is one of Florida's oldest zoological attractions. For over a century, it has entertained millions of visitors, lured by the awesome presence of captive reptiles, long regarded in the popular imaginat
Welcome to Gator Rescue, home of alligator rescuer and conservationist, Gary Saurage; Star of CMT's Gator 911 television show. Click on the highlighted dates on the calendar to see what's happening next for Gator Country. If you are interested in boo
Did You Know There Are White Alligators?
A White Alligator at Gatorland in Florida
More about White Alligators
- What's the Difference Between a Leucistic Crocodile ...
Alligators that are white, are the result of 2 different things. It can be Leucistic or an Albino. Learn more about those.
Alligators Lay Eggs
They make a nest in late June and early July. The female lays 35 to 50 eggs. She guards the nest to protect it from raiding animals, humans and other alligators.
Picture of a Mother Alligator with a Nest
My Page about Baby Alligators
- All About Baby Alligators
Most people don't get the chance to see baby alligators in the wild. I'll share my photos here and tell about what I've observed.
True Books about Alligators (for Children) - Great Stuff on Amazon
Graphic from Zazzle: Never Insult An Alligator by ironydesign
Look for a book like this at the public library. If you want one for your own bookshelf, click on one of these to get it from Amazon.
Where does the name "alligator" come from?
Explorers called it "el lagarto" which is Spanish for the lizard.
Fun Stories about Alligators for Preschoolers and Early Readers - Great Books on Amazon
I used to read "Alligators All Around" in storytimes at the library. Kids loved it. Now there are even more stories with alligators in them. Read them all. Alligators just want to have fun.
Some of the stories that were popular were Alligators All Around by Maurice Sendak and also one called Zack's Alligator.
My Photo of an Alligator (taken with a Canon PowerShot SX20 IS)
Alligator Swimming Technique
I observed a small alligator in shallow water. It paddled with its feet to get going, then glided by moving the tail from side to side. While gliding, it kept its feet back and close to the body.
Have You Seen a Live Alligator?
Vote in the Poll
Hug an Alligator
You'll find alligator toys to appeal to all age groups. There is even an alligator kite to fly on a windy day. This kind of toy fosters an interest in wildlife and nature.
Normally you don't think of alligators as cuddly but this plush gator is quite huggable.
You Can't Play Fetch with an Alligator
Alligator Stories for Older Kids - Great Stuff on Amazon
Graphic from Zazzle: Alligator by animalworld
Ask at the library for these books. Don't miss all the fascinating alligator stories.
How Alligators Eat
Small prey is swallowed whole (fish, birds, frogs). Larger things they shake into pieces or tear off bits to eat.
Alligator Feeding Time at Gatorland
Photographing Alligators - Tips for You
I've taken quite a few alligator pictures in the eleven years that I've lived in Florida. Here are my tips for getting a good photo.
Be very careful. You don't want to get so involved in getting a photo that you risk getting attacked by an alligator. It's best to have someone keeping an eye on the alligator to warn you if it starts towards you.
Take one photo as soon as you see the alligator. You may not get a second chance as the gator is likely to zip into the water as you approach. Edge a little closer (but still from a distance) and take another.
Once I got a camera with zoom, my pictures of alligators improved and I was much safer while taking them.
Poster available from All Posters: American Alligator
- Photographing Alligators - Stock Photography Blog
Tips for taking photos of alligators.
- Nature Photography - The Alligators of South Texas
One of the best spots in Texas to photograph the alligators is probably the 2000 hectares Brazos Bend State Park, managed by Texas Parks & Wildlife.
© 2009 Virginia Allain