In this corner, we have the American Alligator, going up against the Nile Monitor Lizard in Week One of our Fauna Face-Off Fridays. The American Alligator, which you can find on an Orlando airboat ride at Wild Florida, is often found in the Everglades in South Florida, along with other locations along the Southeastern United States in swamps, streams, rivers, ponds and lakes–mostly wetland habitats. Weighing in at up to 1,000 pounds and measuring anywhere from 11 to 15 feet, the American alligator will turn out to be quite the contender.
Commonly known as apex predators, gators consume fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. During breeding season, you will often find alligators declaring their territory and locating suitable mates. Male gators use infrasound to attract females. Even though you may view gators as tough, scary creatures, their species has been decimated through hunting and other ecological factors, and they’ve been listed as an Endangered Species.
Gators have several dangerous qualities that make them a strong contender in the Fauna Face-Off. For example, the alligator’s movement can be quite dangerous, as they can travel quickly on land and water. Not only are they fast, but they’re smart, being able to use lures to hunt prey such as birds. They are the first recorded reptiles to use tools. Oftentimes, they will balance sticks and branches on their heads to lure birds searching for suitable nesting materials. Gators can also perform specific vocalizations to threaten competitors and signal distress, which just adds to their long list of abilities, making them the Everglades’ top predator.
We want to wish our alligator representative, the American Insti-Gator, luck in this Friday’s face-off when he goes up against a worthy opponent, the Nile Monitor Lizard. If you want to learn more about alligators, come experience one of our Orlando airboat rides at Wild Florida. Visit our booking page to buy tickets today.