American Alligator

American Alligator

Animal's Behavior

The American alligator lives in wetlands that can be in close proximity to human populations. Alligators are popular sights on the many swamp tours in from Florida to Texas. They can stay underwater for hours.

Eating Habits

Just about any living creature in or near the water is potential prey for the alligator. Fish, deer, birds, raccoons, frogs and rats are all fair game, as are dogs and occasionally humans.

Range

Across the southeastern United States.

Conservation Efforts

Once in trouble, today alligators are plentiful and regulated through a hunting season.

Animal Facts

  • Breeding season is in the spring, and an alligator’s bellow to attract a mate is one of the more eerie sounds in the swamp.
  • Alligators have a cruising speed in water of about a mile an hour, although they can be a lot faster over short distances when pursuing prey.

Back to Animal Profiles

Quick Facts

Scientific Name

Alligator mississippiensis

Classification

Animalia, Chordata, Reptilia, Archosauria, Crocodilia, Alligatoridae

Place of Birth

Swamps of southeastern United States

Size

Up to 17 feet

Color

Dark grey to black

Lifespan

50 years

Conservation Status

Least Concern

Where to See

Audubon Zoo

Adopt An Animal

Add a wild child to your family tree today! Your donation helps feed and care for more than 15,000 animals in Audubon's care.