How Long Do Alligators Live (And Why)?

Exact Answer: between 30 and 75 years (Approximately)

The word alligator comes from the Spanish word el Lagarto meaning the lizards. Alligators are the reptiles and members of the Alligatoridae family. They live in freshwater or slow-moving rivers. Alligators are carnivorous animals and generally feed upon fish, snails, birds, frogs, etc.

There are two species of alligators known today that are the American alligators and the Chinese alligators. Reptiles are the animals belonging to the class Reptilia, cold-blooded and scaly bodies.

Crocodiles and alligators both are reptiles and are almost every time considered the same. However, alligators and crocodiles are two different reptiles.

The most common way to discern between the alligators and the crocodiles is to observe the shape of their snouts. The alligators have U-shaped faces whereas, the crocodiles have V-shaped snouts. 

Another way is the difference in their skin colors. Alligators are probably grey or black colored wherein, crocodiles are olive or tan colored. Alligators live in freshwater areas, while crocodiles live in saltwater. When it comes to their behavior, crocodiles are more aggressive than alligators. 

How Long Do Alligators Live?

The average lifespan of alligators is between thirty and years. However, A healthy alligator can live more than 50 years. The process used to estimate the age of the alligators is skeletochronology.

Skeletochronology consists of two words, ‘skeleton’ meaning bones and ‘chronology’ meaning time. Skeletochronology is examining the bones of the alligators and estimating their age.

Where American alligators probably live between 30 and 50 years, Chinese alligators’ lifespan is 50 years. The difference between Chinese alligators and American alligators is that Chinese alligators are smaller in size. The maximum length of Chinese alligators is 2.1 meters, and the length of the American alligators is 5.8 meters.

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Muja, an American alligator, is known to be the longest living alligator at Belgrade Zoo. Muja is a male alligator and known to have hatched around the 1930s. The length of the greatest alligator is about 15 feet and 9 inches. It weighed around 1,011 pounds. 

Types of alligatorsCan survive for
American Alligatorsbetween 30 and 50 years
Chinese Alligatorsup to 70 years
Alligators without foodAbout two to three years
Alligators without waterabout a few days Or a week

Why Do Alligators Live So Long?

Baby alligators can be food for many predators, but once they grow older, the number of predators gest lesser than the finger in our hand. Alligators live more than many other animals. Alligators can lay 90 eggs at once. However, the ratio of survival of eggs is less as compared with the grown ones.

The eggs incubation period takes nine to ten weeks to complete. The baby alligators start making high-pitched noises even before hatched. There are three stages involved in the life cycle of an alligator. The first stage is the laying of the eggs, and the number of eggs varies from a few dozen to 90. The second is the baby alligators, and the third is a grown alligator. 

 Despite being cold-blooded animals, alligators are among the rare animals who take care of their young ones. The temperatures between 82 degrees Fahrenheit to 92 degrees Fahrenheit is the best suited to alligators. When it comes to water, the temperature should be around 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

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Alligators can survive without food for several years and without water for several weeks. They are fearless animals though sometimes, feel insecure around humans.

Conclusion

Alligators and crocodiles are two different types of reptiles. There are broadly two species of alligators known today. There are more than one million American alligators present today and less than 200 Chinese alligators.

Alligators are reptiles and found in large numbers in Florida and Louisiana. They can run as long as thirty-five miles in an hour. However, alligators have speed but don’t have endurance.

The alligators can not survive in saltwater. They are active only in a fixed range of temperatures and are among the ancient animals on earth. They are known to have appeared eighty-four million years ago. The number of alligators is gradually decreasing and needs to be protected. 

References

  1. https://journals.flvc.org/edis/article/download/115140/113448
  2. https://meridian.allenpress.com/copeia/article-abstract/104/4/843/196439
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