Alligators have an armoured body with bony plates for protection across their back. Their front feet have 5 toes with claws to assist them on the land, with their back feet being 4 webbed toes aiding in swimming.
An alligator’s tail is very powerful and can propel them through the water, but being solid muscle makes them heavy and slower on the land. Alligator’s teeth are interlocking with each tooth fitting into a socket on the opposite jaw. They will usually have 74-80 teeth at one time but can go through 2000-3000 teeth in a lifetime as they are replaced after falling out.
They prefer a cooler climate to other crocodilian species and live furthest away from the equator. They are the apex predator of their habitat.
Whilst juvenile Alligators mainly eat fish, frogs and birds, as they grow alligators regularly consume turtles & small mammals and being opportunistic feeders they occasionally hunt large prey from the water’s edge.
Alligators were once hunted for their leather; the population declined rapidly giving them an endangered status in 1967, however the species has made a full recovery since.