Alligators breathe by inhaling air into their lungs. They do not have gills and cannot breathe underwater, though they can stay underwater for intervals of up to two hours, and it is believed they can hold their breath even longer if necessary.Know More
Alligator lungs have unidirectional air flow, which means that air moving through the lungs is largely fresh air and has a high oxygen content. Bird lungs also have unidirectional air flow. The lungs of mammals have bidirectional air flow, meaning the air moves back and forth into and out of the lungs. Because of this, air coming into the lungs of a mammal is mixed with air that has been in the lungs for a while. This mixed air has less oxygen. In alligator lungs, more oxygen is available to diffuse into the blood.
Alligators primarily inhabit fresh water. They tend to submerge themselves underwater for between 10 and 15 minutes. When an alligator goes underwater, its nostrils, ears and throat are automatically closed off by a flap. These flaps prevent water from entering the lungs or stomach. Alligators slow their heart rate and close certain blood lines in their bodies, allowing more blood to get to the vital organs. The blood carries oxygen to these organs, delaying the need for the alligator to breathe.Learn more about Alligators
Alligators reproduce via internal fertilization, mating at night and eventually laying 35 to 50 eggs in a small pit, which is then covered with a nest of decaying vegetation. About five times as many females are hatched as males after an incubation of 65 days, with the sex of offspring determined by temperature rather than genetic differences. The mother guards the eggs and digs them up as they begin hatching.Full Answer >
Alligators are apex predators and fear no other animal within their ecosystem, although they are known to be timid around humans. This fear is beneficial for both species and is one reason why humans should not feed alligators, as they may begin to associate humans with food.Full Answer >
There are two species of alligator in the world: the Chinese alligator and the American alligator. Both species have movable tongues attached to the lower jaw. This is one feature that distinguishes an alligator from a crocodile, as a crocodile has an immovable tongue on the roof of its mouth.Full Answer >
There are two alligator species: the Chinese alligator and the American alligator. Alligators generally do not attack humans, but they go on the offensive when threatened or protecting their eggs and young.Full Answer >