How Many Types Of Alligators Live In The World Today?

An American alligator in Florida.
An American alligator in Florida.

Types Of Alligators

Alligator is the crocodilian reptile in the Alligatoridae family and the genus Alligator. The two kinds of alligators living in the world currently are the Chinese and American alligators

History And Description

The alligator appeared 37 million years ago for the first time. The early settlers and Spanish explorers in the Florida, United States, explored the reptile and called the alligator. The Spanish name is el Lagarto.
The adult American alligator weighs over 350 kilograms with a length of about four meters. On the other hand, the Chinese alligator is much lighter and shorter in length. The approximate weight is 50 kilograms, and the length is 2 meters. The color of the adult alligators is olive-brown or purely dark, but young ones have yellow or white marks on their bodies. There is no absolute measure of the alligator’s average lifespan since the Muja, a specimen in Belgrade Zoo is now 80 years old.


The American alligators occupy the southeastern region of the United States. The alligator dominates the Florida and Louisiana and some parts of southern Georgia, Coastal Carolina in Texas City and southern Mississippi. The freshwater environments such as the freshwater lakes, rivers, wetlands and even swamps provide the habitat, which is conducive for the American alligator.
The Chinese alligator, on the other hand, lives primarily in the Yangtze River valley and neighboring provinces. The zoo keeps more of these alligators due to their sparse population.

The Behavior Of Alligators

The alligator sprawl while moving on the land. Smaller alligators often stay in a large number of groups. The responsibility of the adults is to defend their territory. Their main preys are small animals that they can kill easily and eat but sometimes kill large animals by dragging them to drown in water. Alligators are afraid of human beings and often swim away in case people approached them.

Reproduction Of The Alligators

The maturity length of an alligator is about 1.8 meters and mating period is often at the end of the spring season. The female alligators build the nest in summer at a point where decomposing vegetation provides the heat necessary for incubation of the eggs. The temperature of 30 degrees Celsius in the nest produce female while the temperature of 34 degrees Celsius produces male alligators.

Diet Of Alligators

Young alligators often feed on insects, fish, snails, and worms. The mature alligators feed on larger prey for example turtles and mammals like muskrat and deer. Alligators only attack humans when provoked as a way of self-defense but not for prey.

Human beings raise the alligators primarily for commercial purposes. They are kept for meat and the skin. Manufacturing industries use the skin for shoemaking, handbags, and belts. The alligators have promoted both international and eco-tourism. Tourists from within and all over the world travel to see these alligators.
The Belgrade Zoo in Serbia keeps these species of alligators because they are almost becoming extinct. The alligators are very important for leather and meat production.


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