alligators in florida

While most carnivores, like lions or wolves, actively seek out their next meal, alligators will wait for the opportunity to eat. According to the Everglades National Park, the largest alligator ever recorded measured 17 feet, 5 inches. Alligators do not naturally regard humans as prey, unlike the crocodile. Alligators have been connected to another recent death in Florida. Year after year we find that the Alligator Exhibit at the Aquarium is one of the most informative Key West Attractions because children and adults are always interested in learning information about alligators when they visit Florida. Even though that’s really comforting to people who live states such as Arizona, there are lots of rivers and marshes in Florida, particularly in the southern section of Florida where the Everglades are. Alligators have a wider, rounded U-shaped snout while crocs have a more pointed V-shaped snout. The Florida record for weight is a 1,043 pound (13 feet 10-1/2 inches long) male from Orange Lake in Alachua County. Incubation is 60-65 days and hatchlings will stay with the mother for up to 2 years. They have been known to live 60-80 years in human care. Maximum length for females is approximately 10 feet. Where can I see alligators? Trump refuses to budge over aid bill, millions risk losing jobless benefits The sheer size of the animal had many on social media questioning whether it was actually real. Presented by Historic Tours of America® Inc. All Rights Reserved. Plenty of residents have stories to tell (such as encounters with Chubbs, the enormous mascot who roams the Buffalo Creek Golf Course) or have family traditions like feeding baby alligators pieces of hotdog for $2. The alligators in the Key West Aquarium are usually between the ages of 1 and 3 years old and are on loan from the Alligator Farm in Homestead, FL. They were removed from the endangered species list in 1987, but are still classified as a threatened species. The Florida state record for length is a 14 foot 3-1/2 inch male from Lake Washington in Brevard County. Small animals would outbreed the food supply. MORE FROM CBSMIAMI.COM ©2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. However, attacks on humans are on the rise due to the loss of their habitat and irresponsible behavior of humans (feeding them, approaching and harassing them) that all contribute to lessening their natural fear of man. Mating season is mid-April through May and alligators have a heightened aggression during this time. "They’re out there,” said 'Gator Girl' Kristy Kroboth of the massive alligator spotted on a Naples, Florida golf course. It will then store it for a couple days to allow decomposition and easier consumption afterward. Alligators have a preference for fresh water and sometimes brackish water; Statistical data suggests that the probability of being killed by an alligator is low; Since the early 1970s, there have been 23 fatalities and under 400 unprovoked bites by alligators in Florida; Mating season for alligators … The bright yellow cross-bands that juvenile alligators sport against a black background provide effective camouflage. As locals and tourists continue to flock to the region to live, retire and vacation, more and more homes and resorts spring into action. At Wild Florida, we’re fortunate to have sunny, warm weather most of the year. If the alligator is big enough it will eat larger prey such as deer, bear, razorbacks, or other alligators. Judging the size of an alligator is not a reliable way to determine it’s sex. If one bites you, the advice is to make the most noise possible and work hard to get away. Miami-Dade Public Schools Reconvenes Its Coronavirus Task Force You are strolling down Bay Street, tipping your hat to ladies with colorful parasols and long plumes of snowy egret and roseate spoonbill feathers in their hats, when you step into a shop and find all things alligator—alligator hide suitcases, purses, billfolds, desk sets and other items. Temperatures above 93 degrees will produce males while temperatures of 86 degrees and below produce females. Juveniles eat a wide variety of sm… Alligators are apex predators. The question of where to see alligators in Florida might be better phrased, where don’t you see alligators in Florida?. Don’t approach to take selfies; don’t approach to check if it’s alive; and if you’re headed into any of Florida’s many fresh water streams, lakes or springs, take great care – alligators are often around even if you can’t see them. In recent years, Florida has experienced tremendous human population growth. When the reach a certain size or the age of 3, whichever comes first, they are returned to the farm and switched for younger alligators. Female alligators are fiercely protective of the nest and hatchlings and are especially dangerous. If the gator has caught something too large to consume in one bite it typically drowns it by violently spinning it in the water. You cannot tell a male from a female alligator unless you perform an internal examination by identifying it’s sexual organs. Alligators are native to only the United States, Mexico, and China. The hunting and trapping of alligators is only legal through proper permits and strictly enforced quotas. A video taken by Kim Joiner of a HUGE gator is going viral on Facebook right now. News & World Report is out with its annual list of … Female alligators rarely exceed 10 feet in length, but males can grow much larger. Alligators feature in Florida’s marketing efforts as school mascots, and as part of tourist attractions like alligator wrestling, viewing in airboat tours and feeding. Dolphins In Hunt For Division Title, First Time Since 2008 While alligators primarily live in the southeastern U.S., crocodiles are found in North, South, and Central America as well as Africa, Southeast Asia, and Australia. Hiding in the thick marshland, alligators in Florida will usually eat insects, amphibians, fish, snakes, turtles, and other small mammals. Both sexes tend to be smaller in South Florida. No, not anymore. The largest population of gators live in Gainesville, FL. The temperature in the nest determines sex of the offspring. Alligators hunt species that are easily accessible and abundant in the wild. Director Emeritus of Columbia Zoo/Aquarium. But residents for Fort Myers, Florida, say they've had a few encounters with alligators that have been too close for comfort, the Huffington Post first reported.. They live in freshwater rivers, lakes, swamps, and marshes. Not only are they in our Lakes, they are in our rivers and any random pond the middle of nowhere. Females do have a tendency to be smaller than males. By Janet K. Keeler. This is commonly called a “death roll”. Customized Virtual Tours starting at $10.75, We use cookies to give you the best experience. Alligators live in the water and never bother people unless they themselves have first been bothered. They reside in the Key West Aquarium to further the education of one of Florida’s most important and well represented predators. The flexible apex predator was spotted at the Naval Air Station in Jacksonville on August 17. Living in Florida, we have to share our space with a very large reptile, the American alligator (Alligator mississipiensis).Because of Florida's booming population growth, people and alligators are constantly forced to cross paths, increasing the chances of conflict. Alligators and crocodiles are in different families. See what we are doing to ensure a safe guest experience. Alligators build nests and dig large holes (“gator holes”) that create habitat for a … Florida residents know that we share the state with a large alligator population — an estimated 1.3 million to be exact! MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Not one, but two huge alligators were spotted recently taking leisurely strolls in Florida and the videos are going viral. Use force if necessary. Adult male alligators occasionally reach 13 to 15 feet in length. For the second time in about a week, alligators have been found feeding on a human corpse in Florida, local papers reported. Alligators live an average of 35-50 years in the wild. We are open! It is used to show dominance, territorialism, and to attract mates. By using our site, you agree to our, American alligators were once considered almost extinct, By the 1950s, endless hunting had almost wiped out the population, By the 1980s, the population managed to recover; gators were removed from the endangered species list, Although confrontations occur, attacks on humans by alligators are still considered rare, Homes and communities now lie on edges of alligator habitats or have water that alligators seek, Alligators are often drawn to storm water ponds of all sorts, Regardless of whether it’s natural or man-made, if there’s a body of water in Florida, there could be an alligator in it, Alligators have a preference for fresh water and sometimes brackish water, Statistical data suggests that the probability of being killed by an alligator is low, Since the early 1970s, there have been 23 fatalities and under 400 unprovoked bites by alligators in Florida, Mating season for alligators is late April through early June, Females build their nest and lay on average 20-45 eggs in June/July, Eggs traditionally hatch from the middle of August through the beginning of September, Egg, hatchling and nest survival is often stunted by predators (like raccoons) and flooding, Alligators rely on external heat sources in order to regulate their body temperature (which is why they can often be found lying in the sun or on a hot surface), 80-90 degrees Fahrenheit is the range of temperature when gators are most active, Limited feeding takes place during temperatures less than 70 degrees Fahrenheit, The hibernation or dormant period for gators is often when the temperature is below 55 degrees Fahrenheit, Alligator classification: reptiles (direct ancestors: dinosaurs), An alligator’s heart has four chambers (most reptiles have 3), The American alligator is known as the largest reptile in North America, Alligators are the official state reptile of Florida, The alligator is the mascot of the University of Florida, Alligators can go six months a year without eating, Alligators migrate far distances (they walk on roads, crawl through pipes, slug through swamplands), It is difficult to keep alligators contained to one space, Alligators mostly ignore humans and are often unsettled/frightened by them, If hungry, and humans are in the water, alligators may go for the ankles of that nearby human (regardless of age, weight or size), An alligator is able to outrun all human creatures within the first 20-30 feet of exiting the water – making it very difficult for humans to outrun alligators, It is difficult to spot an alligator in the water or on land if it’s in a secluded area, Alligators watch from above the water but they listen and feel vibrations of prey from below the water, Alligators are known to lie on tar roads due to the hot surface, Alligators are prevalent all over Florida, If bit by an alligator, make a lot of noise, use force, poke eyes, Alligator diet includes prey that is easy to find and available often, Adult alligators eat snakes, turtles, smaller mammals, small birds, large/rough fish, Young alligators eat mostly insects, smaller fish, other amphibian creatures/invertebrates, Alligators have been known to eat other alligators and dead animals, Female alligators typically remain under 10 feet long, Male alligators can be much larger than females and over 10 feet in length, If taking a photo or looking at an alligator, remain at least 50 feet away in distance, Do not swim in areas where it’s a known alligator community, Never touch or go near an alligator on a road even if it looks dead, Stay away from water at night and definitely stay away during the breeding season, If you’re in fresh or stagnant water (natural or man-made) in Florida, know that alligators could be anywhere. The senses of all crocodilians are quite powerful in comparison to other reptiles. They also have excellent night vision and are thought to be able to see color. American alligators inhabit most of the southeastern United States; primarily Louisiana, Florida, and Georgia. Florida, the 27th state, is the most southeasterly state in the entire United States. Alligators, as top predators, play an important role in Florida’s ecosystem. Florida alligators. Alligators appear in multiple places around the continental United States, but they're most predominantly known for living in Florida because of the Everglades and a large number of swamps. Wolves, actively seek out their next meal, alligators will wait for the opportunity to eat, alligators wait. And to attract mates through May and alligators have inhabited Florida 's marshes, swamps, rivers and lakes many. 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