American Alligator (Alligator Mississippiensis)

Fish, small mammals, turtles, birds and apple snails
Southeastern United States
Males – up to 15 feet (4.57 m) Females – up to 9 feet (2.74 m)
Up to 1000 lbs (453.59 kg)
Swamps, wetlands, ponds, lakes and canals
30 – 50 years in the wild. 70 – 100 years in captivity
Jungle Queen Animal American Alligator.jpg Jungle Queen Animal Habitats American Alligator.jpg


American Alligators are what is known as a "keystone species." This means that without the alligator, many other species of animal in that ecosystem would not be able to survive. Bull (large male) alligators dig out of a home called a "gator hole" during the dry season. These gator holes are the only bodies of freshwater during times of drought and many species rely on them to survive. They provide animals with freshwater, and also bring prey right to the alligator's doorstep. American Alligators are distinguished from crocodiles by a broad snout, dark color, and a bottom row of teeth that cannot be seen when the mouth is closed. These animals have 80 teeth with a bite pressure of over 2500 lbs per square inch.

To download the fact sheet on the American Alligator please click here.