Wednesday, July 6, 2016

There are Alligators in Florida?

Yes, there are alligators in Florida. Oh, and it’s not just one alligator, not a couple thousand alligators…there are roughly 1.25 million alligators living in the State of Florida. We have canoed past our fair share of alligators when we visited many Florida State Parks.

canoeing in Florida among alligators

You may not know but the American Alligator is an important “keystone” species here in the Southeast. Alligators burrow for nesting and to keep warm. Once they abandon the burrow, it fills with fresh water which makes it a great place for many other species including fish, snakes, turtles and birds to have a place for breeding and to get drinking water. Alligators are also a great indicator for water quality within Florida’s lakes and rivers.

Other Interesting Facts about Alligators
1. Alligators live in freshwater environments such as marshes, rivers, swamps and ponds (like the ones in any local Florida neighborhood or park) unlike their cousin the American Crocodile which lives in saltwater.

2. Alligators can stay underwater for up to 8 hours without taking a breath.

3. On land, alligators can reach speeds up to 10 miles an hour in short bursts.

4. The jaws of an alligator can exert more than 1,000 pounds per square inch when biting down but the muscles to keep its mouth open are far weaker.

5. Alligators can live upwards of 40-50 years.

american alligator spotted on canoe trip in Florida
Oz and family canoed past this big American Alligator in Hillsborough River State Park

Living in or visiting Florida means living among diverse, and sometimes dangerous, animals like the Florida Panther, black bear, Coral snakes, sharks, American Crocodile and of course, the American Alligator. With the continued build-out of their habitats by humans, it is no surprise to find the American Alligator on golf courses, in back yards and neighborhood ponds.

The way we coexist is by having a deep respect of all nature and wildlife. We must appreciate wildlife from a safe distance and educate ourselves on both the beauty and danger of all of God’s creatures. 





39 comments:

  1. I agree and therefore my mommas girl-dream to ride an airboat in FL as fast and furious like Horatio Caine in CSI stays as a dream... my daddy said 5 minutes then the gators have belly aches from eating an ole momma :o)

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  2. Paws up! This is good information, especially for everyone who is currently kind of freaking out about alligators in Florida being dangerous. They at everywhere, and as long as humans and companion animals respect them and their space, we can all coexist. Crowding them or feeding them are ways that we don't respect their space, and then humans get all worried. Silly humans, the alligators were here first!

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  3. Ding Dong Oz the way the climate is changing I would not be surprised to see alligators in the Ohio River. Why for some reason the first season ever we have frogs by the dozens. You stay safe when you see them in you dinghy.
    Thanks for being a friend
    Sweet William The Scot

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    1. Perhaps you are getting one of the biblical plagues!

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  4. The mouth muscles of some peeps are the exact opposite. They can't close their mouth very well and the mouth is always open.

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  5. We didn't know all of those facts about alligators, Oz. 40-50 years, huh?!

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  6. So far we have not seen any alligators in the Des Moines river that is close to our house but with all the climate changes who knows, we are always on the look out. Mom said you lost her at SNAKES..........ugh....stella rose

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  7. We hear they make good treats too
    Snorts,
    Lily & Edward

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  8. I wish people would learn respect for nature and wildlife.

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  9. Wow, I had no idea alligators could stay under water for so long, amazing! Stay safe and alert down there Oz and thanks for educating some of us Northerners about the dangers. It's so tragic what happened at Disney, but I'm glad they're putting up signs for those vacationers that aren't aware.

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  10. Just don't trust a gator!

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

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  11. I can honestly say - this urban raised girl from NY has never seen an alligator in her entire life - but I have much respect for them. #trustme You be safe Oz

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  12. so long as they stay at a distance - we are happy :)

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  13. PSSSS you know the alligators on Sanibel swim back and forth across the salt water over towards Fort Myers

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    1. Pssss....yes, I do know that alligators can tolerate salt water for a little while. They also can tolerate brackish water. But they live in fresh water. *winks*

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  14. What a shame those nasty creatures live so long and us sweet dogs don't. We don't like them at all. Be careful, Oz!

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  15. Oz, your title cracks me up! I definitely do not know too much about alligators. I am a little glad I don't have to worry about them here though. They do sound like pretty cool creatures however.

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  16. Excellent post, Oz! We have alligators in our waters too. Respect them and give them plenty of room.

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  17. HOHO! That's one hell of a dinosaur :D !!
    I have never seen one in real life!

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  18. We were warned the first time we visited our FL relatives expect to find a gator in any fresh water. That cured Mom of any romantic desire of retiring to FL. Snow may be cold but it keeps the gators down south.

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  19. Hawwwooo Oz!! Hmmm, I think I am glad there are no alligators in Wyoming. Play bows,

    nuk

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  20. I often wondered what the difference between crocodiles and alligators was. We saw gators when we visited the Texas coast. I am happy to steer clear of them!
    Jan, Wag 'n Woof Pets

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  21. Every year we have people who ignore the Crocodile signs and get killed. If people want to go into areas where there is known danger, they should heed the warnings. Unfortunately, the crocs get the blame.

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  22. We didn't know all those facts about alligators. Thanks for sharing. We hope the humans can figure out a way to live nicely with the alligators and vice versa.

    Woos - Ciara and Lightning

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  23. THIS is a very IMPORTANT and TIMELY Post... how could ANYONE go to Florida and NOT KNOW that there are ALLIGATORS (and Snakes) that should be AVOIDED at all cost...
    WELL DONE dear furend...

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  24. This is the reason my husband will not consider moving to Florida! Very good info. Thanks Oz!

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  25. Wowzers! We don't have those in Kansas - but I'll make sure I check for them the next time we're at the Kansas Ocean, just to make sure!
    Cammie!

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  26. Nice informative post OZ. We have never seen an alligator but just the same out this way - people need to respect the wildlife - no petting the buffalo and bears - sheesh
    hugs
    Mr Bailey, Hazel *& Mabel

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  27. Thank you so much for this post! People forget that we are invading the homes of wild life animals! We need to respect them and their space!!!!

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  28. This is such a cool post: Thank you for some of these facts. I think it's important to treat animals that we share our environments with -- respectfully like you say, and from a distance. Alligators are super cool and so many people that don't live in your climate have no idea how it's "normal" to see them while golfing for example. 10 miles an hour in a short burst is fast!

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  29. Gators definitely don't bother us! They need respect, and we've never had an issue. We just stay the hell out of fresh water!

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  30. If you say so Oz but I'd rather stay up here with the snow and cold instead of gators. Love Dolly

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  31. What an adventure to pass by a huge alligator! Thank you for teaching us cool facts about alligators! :)

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  32. I'm glad we don't have to worry about gators here! I think even the snakes here are mostly harmless.

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  33. Wow, that's a lotta gators! And I had no idea they lived that long! Very interesting!

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  34. Since they built the houses across the street, mom hasn't seen any alligators. We do have a dive bombing mockingbird that is making life miserable.

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  35. I just love alligators! Thank you for all the cool details about them. I would of loved to come across a alligator that big!

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  36. I couldn't believe recently that there were people who DIDN'T know that there were alligators in Florida.

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Thank you for stopping by and leaving a pawprint. I enjoy reading each and every one!
Cairn cuddles,
Oz the Terrier