5 Reasons Why Alligators are the Coolest Reptiles In South Florida

South Florida Alligators

We love them, yet we also fear them. Nevertheless, we enjoy sharing our world with them – alligators. In South Florida, the American alligator is iconic and for good reason. Here are five reasons why we enjoy our scaly friends and why alligators are the coolest reptiles in South Florida.

No. 1: They Can Run Up to 11 Miles Per Hour On land and Climb!

Say it isn’t so, but alligators can actually climb fences! Most don’t, however, although that’s probably not very reassuring to the thousands of folks living near water in Florida. Alligators are spotted in residential areas all the time – on the back patio, in the swimming pool, even at the golf course. The fact that they can raise their bellies off the ground and high tail it at a pace of about 11 miles per hour on land is simply too cool to overlook.

No. 2: They’ve Been Around for 35 Million Years

Were alligators and dinosaurs friends? Perhaps, but the modern gator has been on the planet longer than humans, and is one of the oldest living species in existence. “Living fossils”, as they’re sometimes called, have been around the block a few times – and that’s super cool.

No. 3: The Force of an Alligator Bite Is About 2,000 Pounds

Impressive for sure. But interestingly, as strong as an alligator bite may be, the muscle they use to open the mouth is weak by comparison. So much so that a simple wrap made of duct tape or a strong human grip can hold the jaws shut. Nevertheless, probably not something you want to test.

No. 4: Its Tail Is a Weapon and a Propeller

An alligator’s tail serves a few important purposes. First, at nearly half the length of its body and super strong, a gator tail is an incredible weapon against predators. Alligators also have lightning quick reflexes, and a strong tail is a pretty intimidating weapon. Second, a tail makes a great shovel for digging water holes during the dry season. And finally, gators use their tails as props in the water to help them get around. Avid swimmers, with the help of a strong tail, most gators can swim up to 20 miles per hour in the water. Pretty cool indeed.

No. 5: As Soon As Babies Hatch, They Can Catch Their Own Food

Talk about independence. Baby alligators, also called hatchlings, can feed themselves as soon as they crack out of the shell! At just over 6 inches long, juveniles can eat about 23 percent of their body weight. Boy is that cool! Nevertheless, mom usually keeps an eye on her babies for a couple of years before they wander off to start their own families.

Love alligators? When you’re ready to see a few of these super cool reptiles in action, be sure to visit Everglades Holiday Park – family fun destination in Fort Lauderdale known for awesome airboat tours, the Gator Boys Alligator Rescue and the best live alligator shows in South Florida in the world famous “Gator Pit”.

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