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12 facts you might not know about alligators

Mysterious, dangerous and tasty. Find out great information about North America's largest reptile.

Go anywhere in Louisiana or the South and you might come across the alligator. You find them in zoos, the swamps, as team mascots. Many consider alligators to be a delicacy. We present these facts you might not know about alligators.

facts about alligators

1. A fully grown male gator weighs around 1,000 pounds and can grow up to 15 feet in length. Females grow to around nine feet in length with a weight of 500 pounds.

2. The tail of an alligator is the most tender part which is called the tenderloin.

3. Celebrate the gator every September at the Alligator Festival in St. Charles Parish near Luling, La.

4. American Alligators tend to live around 50 years in the wild. 

5. Alligators can typically run anywhere from 20 mph on land to 35 mph on land.

6. Despite their short legs, alligators can climb trees. As long as the have enough incline to climb trees, they can rest or prey from the top of a tree.

7. The word “alligator” comes from the Spanish word “el lagarto” which means “the lizard.”

8. Alligators are the largest reptile in North America.

9. Louisiana has the largest population of alligators currently with around 2 million. Florida has the second largest population.

10. If needed, gators can go two to three years between meals.

11. Alligators go through period of dormancy called “brumation” – which is like hibernation – in the cooler months. They create a depression along a waterway and live there. This is referred to as “gator hole.”

12. According to Guinness World Records, the largest toothpick sculpture is of an alligator. Michael Smith created Alley the Alligator in 2005 in Prairieville, La at Galvez Middle School. It contained over 3,000,000 toothpicks, weighs in at 292 pounds and stretched over 15 feet long.

If you want an aquatic experience, visit the Shreveport Aquarium where they have new baby gators.

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