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Alligator Fun Facts

alligator 2Male alligators on average are 13 feet long and weigh about 1,000 pounds. Females usually do not reach 10 feet.

Airplanes in America collide with an average of 1 alligator a year on runways (according to federal records).

Alligator’s jaw muscles used for biting (closing mouth) are very strong. However, the muscles an alligator uses to open its mouth are weak—one can hold the jaw shut with bare hands or a piece of duck tape.

An alligator cannot move its tongue, and must raise its head to swallow.

To hatch, baby alligators use their egg tooth (at the tip of their jaw) to break the egg.

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Speed and Myth

There is no credible source that I found that lists an alligator speed; however, some sources have alligators reaching 20 mph. Nevertheless, an alligator cannot run at its top speed for more than a few feet (sometimes 50 feet).

Myth: a zigzag run to escape an alligator (or crocodile) is a myth. The fastest way to escape an alligator attack is to run in a straight line.

However, there has been no reported incident of an alligator chasing a human being. Alligators only surprise attack (usually when the person is not paying attention), but normally they do not chase people. The only incidents of an alligator running when it encounters a person is when the alligator runs away from the person—not toward the person.