8 Things I “Know” About Alligators, But Have Never Actually Fact-Checked or Researched.

I like to believe I know a lot more than I do.  I think most people would agree with that statement.  I have never straight out claimed to be an alligator aficionado, mainly because my alligator knowledge is based on a public school upbringing and the first image that comes to mind when the word alligator is mentioned is of Leatherhead from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Nonetheless, what follows are what I am loosely referring to as “facts” about alligators that I have picked up over the years.  Enjoy!

  1. Alligators have been around since the days of dinosaurs.  I also believe this to be true about turtles.  How does this make sense though?  How was nearly ever other species wiped out but alligators (and turtles)?  We should be much more afraid of alligators (not turtles) than we are if they can survive a world catastrophe that killed all the Land Before Time characters and the Sinclair family.
  2. Alligators think less of crocodiles.  Based on the fact they look nearly identical, I assume alligators and crocodiles are like cousins or something.  And in this assumption, crocodiles are the hillbilly-redneck cousins.
  3. Alligators love the taste of chicken.  I’m not sure where this one stems from.  Did Steve Irwin use chickens to catch ‘gators?  Maybe it’s an old Looney Toon cartoon.  Either way, alligators have a special spot in their cold hearts for the taste of chicken.  To them it must be some kind of exotic dessert they don’t get everyday.
  4. Alligators will die if they eat chocolate.  This is across the board for all animals in my mind.  Mainly due to dogs, because they can’t eat chocolate I will never give any animal the delicious treat.  This is probably why I find animals so inferior.
  5. Alligators can’t open their mouths with the same strength that they can close them.  Whenever you see someone wrestling an alligator (or wrastlin’ a ‘gator) they always conform themselves around the closed mouth.  This is because the muscles in gator jaws can’t open with much strength.  This has always made me think of video games.  If life is a game, then alligators are the level 2 boss.  They’re strong and scary, but have an easy weakness.
  6. Alligators can run really fast.  Since these creatures have little to no ability to climb, they have mastered swimming and running.  You should never try to outrun a ‘gator!
  7. Alligator meat tastes better than crocodile meat.  This may stem back to my prejudice views that crocs are the hillbilly cousins.  It may be my naivety but it seems that alligator meat is a thing, a delicacy of sorts, and croc meat is only ever thrown in gumbos.
  8. Alligators may be the most patient animals ever.  They will sit in front of an animal for hours before striking.  They don’t want to take the chance and scare their meal off, so they will wait until they know for absolute certainty that they can kill their prey in one quick swoop.

Again, let me stress that I have never researched any of these thoughts.  I’m sure a quick wiki search or 5 minutes watching the discovery channel could disprove half of these “facts”.  Also, I want to straight out state that crocodiles are lame.