American alligators

American Alligator

Alligator mississippiensis

CLASS Reptilia | ORDER Crocodylia | FAMILY Alligatoridae

RANGE Southeastern United States

HABITAT Freshwater lakes, marshes and swamps

DIET Fish, turtles, snakes, mammals and birds

Avg. 600 lbs.
Avg. 11 ft.

Avg. 200 - 300 lbs.
Avg. 8 ft.

About 3 months

Up to 50 eggs

IUCN Status
Least Concern
American alligator

An alligator's powerful muscles can slam it's jaw shut with a force of over 2,000 pounds per square inch, which is the same amount of impact as a mid-sized car dropping on someone! This allows them to break bones and crush turtle shells.

American alligator

American alligators are found in freshwater lakes, rivers, swamps, and marshes in the southeastern United States. They are great swimmers, specially equipped with webbed feet and strong tails that propel them through the water. American alligators can swim up to 20 mph.

juvenile alligator

When young alligators are ready to hatch, they begin to make high-pitched noises from inside the egg. This lets mom know it's time to remove the nesting material. Baby alligators measure about 6 to 8 inches at hatching.

American alligator

The alligator is one of the United States' conservation success stories. It was hunted nearly to extinction for its skin, used to make purses, boots and other leather goods. Through strict conservation efforts, alligators made an amazing comeback. Today, they are no longer endangered. However, the American alligator is listed as threatened on the U.S. Endangered Species List because of its similar appearance to the endangered American crocodile.