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WikiProject Amphibians and Reptiles (Rated B-class, Mid-importance)
WikiProject icon Alligator is part of WikiProject Amphibians and Reptiles, an attempt at creating a standardized, informative, comprehensive and easy-to-use amphibians and reptiles resource. If you would like to participate, you can choose to edit this article, or visit the project page for more information.
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What does alligator meat taste like?[edit]

Responding to the recent spate of edits, especially [1] by Bob98133. What is a good source for the taste of alligator meat, then? Does this "fact" even need to be in the article?If the exotic meat-seller is a not a source for the taste of alligator meat, why do we still have a list of foods alligator meat is used in (the currently unsourced statement in the article came from the same .pdf)? - Enuja (talk) 02:09, 19 July 2008 (UTC)

Should probably see if Ernest A. Liner, author of The Culinary Herpetologist(!) has ever written anything on the subject of the taste ;-p Mfield (talk) 06:13, 19 July 2008 (UTC)
I thought originally that the exotic meat seller would be a good source because they would be most in contact with the meat itself and with those who consume it, but the "Culinary Herpetologist" book sounds more promising. The problem, as I was informed because of my other edits, exists in the fact that comparing tastes can only ever be considered an opinion. Undoubtedly I have heard many people say alligator meat tastes like chicken -- I have heard it, I have experienced it. "That I have heard it" is the fact. Its taste is subjective. At least, that's my current understanding. So, the exotic meat seller would have an interest in selling its product, and ordinary sources might be too subjective. I hope we can figure something out, though, because there are many people who are curious what alligator would taste like who will never find out for themselves. There's more at WP:NPOV, if someone will offer another interpretation. Owlgorithm (talk) 18:45, 19 July 2008 (UTC)
I don't know if it's POV or not, but isn't describing how food tastes always a bit subjective? If we're to delete anything not absolutely objective, any ref to taste must be removed from every article on anything edible. I invite anybody with a spare lifetime to begin. TREKphiler hit me ♠ 18:50, 19 July 2008 (UTC) NEVER AGAIN?!!!!
Like chicken, everything tastes like chicken except beef, pork, fish, and chicken. -sorry, someone had to say that.

What lurks beneath[edit]

Actually there was a documented case of a 5 foot alligator being pulled out of a sewer in 1931. After that the city made a campaign to and sent teams down with shot guns. The sewers stay warm during the winter with plenty of potential food but there has not been any evidence of alligators in the sewers since then.

One thing to note is a recent trend in raising alligators is to keep them in complete darkness. They reach 5 feet in length in a years' time. Something that normally takes 4 to 5 years in the wild. No one knows why, nor do I know how anyone discovered this or what the research done was. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:17, 29 March 2009 (UTC)

Why is there no mention of alligators that roam about the sewers of places like New York City and occasionally get caught in people's pipes? -Alan (talk) 14:07, 7 August 2008 (UTC)

There is not because such a description is obviously fictional.--Archeopteryx (talk) 03:01, 25 October 2008 (UTC)
The plain fact is that alligators cannot survive in darkness - they need ultraviolet light in order to produce Vitamin D, which they need in order to metabolize calcium. Even if kept in room lighting, without UV, crocodilians will become deformed and eventually die. Mokele (talk) 16:23, 29 March 2009 (UTC)

CHIKEN!! ΆΒῂἮᾯᾯῳΗζ — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:38, 18 December 2012 (UTC)

More is appreciated[edit]

This is little in length of what I'd expect of a Wikipedia article of a well known animal. Also, there should also be a section added that talks about the threat humans pose to alligators.--Archeopteryx (talk) 03:00, 25 October 2008 (UTC)

Remove albino section and photo?[edit]

I don't believe that either of these benefit the article. The albino article makes it clear that reptiles can be albinos. The cited reference, which is pretty shaky (make sure to vote if you think it's good) states that they do not survive in the wild. The photograph, which was not described as taken in captivity, obviously was. Neither this information nor the photograph are representative of the topic. I suggest they both be removed. If this information is of any value, it should be placed in the albino article. Bob98133 (talk) 03:17, 29 October 2008 (UTC)

  • Against. IMO the image and the info add value to the article and link to albinism. IMO many Wikipedia readers, who visit alligator article have never heard about albinism. The image and the info provide link to albinism article. I believe Wikipedia readers will benefit from learning something new while visiting alligator article. I've never tried to hide that the image was taken in captivity. As a matter of fact I provided this info on Bob98133 own talk page four days ago. Mbz1 (talk) 21:57, 31 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Against. A picture has a visceral impact description doesn't. (Same rationales here, where representative pix got taken down as "unnecessary" by Philistines...) TREKphiler hit me ♠
  • Against - User Mbz1 has done nothing by add quality to many wikipedia articles. Albino alligators may not be the most notable subject on the matter, but having a small 2-3 sentence passage in a relatively short article is not a problem. --Travis Thurston+ 21:32, 1 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Eh - It is actually a notable phenomenon, due to the fuss zoos have made and the rarity of such animals, but not terribly important. If this were print, I'd say drop it are irrelevant, but since it costs nothing for WP to add content, there's no major problem. However, it seems poorly integrated into the article as a whole. Mokele (talk) 22:09, 1 November 2008 (UTC)


Is it possible to cross a crocodile and alligator and get a crocogator hybrid —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jack turnip (talkcontribs) 12:46, 29 October 2008 (UTC)

As far as I know, it is not possible. While reptiles seem to have an easier time hybridizing with distant relatives (even cross-genus), the separation between the two groups is so old that I doubt any hybrids would be viable. Mokele (talk) 22:11, 1 November 2008 (UTC)

Link for number of teeth[edit]

This page says 74-80 teeth. I haven't seen anything for where in that range is typical. --Dan Wylie-Sears 2 (talk) 22:45, 31 January 2009 (UTC)

Top speed unknown, probably 10-15 mph, not 27[edit]

Has great protein possibly may be able to treat cancer and other illnesses I took out the statement that they can go up to 27mph. I couldn't find a satisfactory estimate to replace it with. Here's what I did find:

"We know of no one who has measured the ground speed of alligators."

"On land, Alligators are not capable of running faster than a slow human, top speed is probably between 10 and 15 miles per hour."

"The MAXIMUM top speed of an alligator, you ready for this? After extensive research.... it was determined to be between 10 and 11 miles per hour, for up to 8 yards."

The last one is specific enough, but it's from a source specializing in snakes not gators, and I didn't see any details of the extensive research. --Dan Wylie-Sears 2 (talk) 23:23, 31 January 2009 (UTC)

How many alligators are there?[edit]

Under the general heading it states that there are about 1,000,000 wild alligators on earth. In the next paragraph it says that there are approximatly a million alligators each in Florida and Louisiana. Now you could assume that they each have more than half a million living in captivity, but that is quite far fetched. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:00, 3 February 2009 (UTC)


At night

  • with the pupils fully dilated, sharpness of vision comparable to an owl's
  • like cats, alligators have thin layer of special reflecting tissue behind each retina called tapetum lucidum (bright carpet) which acts like a mirror to concentrate all available light during darkest of nights (a definite advantage for a night-active meat-eater)
  • also causes coal-red eyeshine at night when caught in the flashlight beam


  • bulging eyes on top of head provide 25 degrees of binocular vision to judge distance and attack with accuracy


  • can pull soft eye orbits down into skulls, letting them pop back up when coast is clear
  • before eyes closed, nictitating membranes close front to back, then eyelids close top to bottom

Eye rotation

  • like a compass needle pointing perpetually north, oval-shaped pupils remain vertical to horizon, even when head tilted
  • adaptation for enhanced, undisrupted vision possible by compass-like movement of eyeballs (but it only works when somewhat horizontal. Flip a gator on its back and visual system and equilibrium disturbed- eyes unable to focus and gator motionless as though experiencing extreme vertigo) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Tina0111 (talkcontribs) 06:11, 16 October 2009 (UTC)


At night

  • with the pupils fully dilated, sharpness of vision comparable to an owl's
  • like cats, alligators have thin layer of special reflecting tissue behind each retina called tapetum lucidum (bright carpet) which acts like a mirror to concentrate all available light during darkest of nights (a definite advantage for a night-active meat-eater)
  • also causes coal-red eyeshine at night when caught in the flashlight beam


  • bulging eyes on top of head provide 25 degrees of binocular vision to judge distance and attack with accuracy


  • can pull soft eye orbits down into skulls, letting them pop back up when coast is clear
  • before eyes closed, nictitating membranes close front to back, then eyelids close top to bottom

Eye rotation

  • like a compass needle pointing perpetually north, oval-shaped pupils remain vertical to horizon, even when head * adaptation for enhanced, undisrupted vision possible by compass-like movement of eyeballs (but it only works when somewhat horizontal. Flip a gator on its back and visual system and equilibrium disturbed- eyes unable to focus and gator motionless as though experiencing extreme vertigo) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Tina0111 (talkcontribs) 06:15, 16 October 2009 (UTC)

I call BS on the alligators in the Dismal Swamp in VA[edit]

There is no reference for the alligators in the summer in VA Dismal Swamp, nor Missouri. Unless someone can supply a supporting reference, these claims should be trimmed. A VA prescense is intriguing since they have been noted in Mills Pond (Dismal Swamp in NC) and in the NC's Currituck Sound (the far northern extension of which would be VA's Back Bay. However, nonetheless for being intriguing, there are no confirmed reports of non-released gators in VA. The Missouri speculation is WAY WACKED since even in Arkansa, they only occur in the far South. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:36, 16 February 2010 (UTC)


Details about locomotion seem to be missing here. In the crocodile article, they say they crawl but are capable of a "high walk." I thought alligators crawled as opposed to crocodiles. But just saw one today "high walk" which was a nasty surprise (he was coming after us while we were in a boat!). Student7 (talk) 01:24, 12 May 2010 (UTC)

Technically, "crawling" is a meaningless term - it has no scientific definition and a myriad of contradictory and inconsistent vernacular definitions. As far as what they actually do, all extant crocodilians swim, slide along their bellies, and "high walk" (which involves sprawled but highly adducted forelimbs and fully erect hindlimbs). Some smaller species and juveniles can "gallop" (though it's actually a bound in technical terms). Their ancestors were fully-erect walking, galloping, fast-moving terrestrial predators that looked like a cross between a lizard and a whippet, and crocs have re-invaded purely terrestrial niches several times. Mokele (talk) 02:06, 12 May 2010 (UTC)

Comparison to crocodile[edit]

There should be a section on the similarities and differences between what people call an alligator and a crocodile in Florida. Alligator is a specie where crocodile is just the synonym for crocodilian family, but still someone should describe what is meant by 'crocodile' in florida.

The article crocodile explains the differences. And crocodiles are the same everywhere, not just Florida. Student7 (talk) 19:49, 3 August 2010 (UTC)
If they're referring to an actual crocodile, then it's not just a synonym...It's the American Crocodile (Crocodylus acutus), a species, as opposed to crocodilians, or even crocodiles, in general, two increasingly specific groups, respectively. Florida has both American Alligators and American Crocodiles. If they're calling an Alligator a crocodile, they are in error. A crocodile is a specific subset of crocodilians, just as an alligator is a subset (two extant species of alligator, many extant species of crocodile). Regardless, I'm not sure regional slang is notable enough for this level of article. A general description of the alligator, its place in the general group of crocodilians, and potentially differences between alligators and crocodiles, should suffice. It doesn't need to delve down to the regional level. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:49, 11 October 2010 (UTC)

There has not been much discussion here in 6 months or so. Upon reading the article, I have found some instances where flow is lacking, and grammar is questionable. Under the "Be bold" doctrine, I plan to make some widescale, but hopefully minor, edits to the page to improve its order and readability. I am an environmental professional who also volunteers as a naturalist in a setting in which the American Alligator is a prominent part of our work ( ))However, I am not a herpetologist by trade, so please correct me if I go astray. I don't intend to alter the factual content on the page, but rather, its readability as I said, but if I find some places that could use some addition, I will try to add whatever might improve the article (referenced, of course:)) Regards, Jbower47 (talk) 20:53, 18 October 2010 (UTC)

Cleaning up the article[edit]

I was making some minor grammar/flow changes (nothing substantive, just to improve readability without deleting content). I noticed that a good deal of the latter part of the article seems specific to the American Alligator (diet, etc) . Given the differences between the two species, should we maybe remove material here, and put it in the AA article if need be, and leave this as a simple description of the genus? It seems like the article is an american alligator article with a couple chinese alligator references (well handled in habitat, etc) thrown in at the start. Thoughts? Regards, Jbower47 (talk) 20:53, 18 October 2010 (UTC)


If you're going to talk about albinism, maybe you should mention leucism. The photos of leucistic alligators are even more arresting, as they are a starker white, and they are (I believe) even rarer. Here's a link to some photos if you want them:

The article has some inaccurate quotes about these alligators getting eaten in the wild, but it has good photos.

Mikestipe (talk) 04:51, 7 December 2010 (UTC)Mikestipe

Edit request from, 4 March 2011[edit]

{{edit semi-protected}} This page is terrible!!!! There are so many inaccuracies and some cited sources do not say anything similar to what they are cited as saying! Alligator, at the species, genus, or even the family level, are not 200 million years old, as crown group crocodylians are all not older than about 84 million years (as cited elsewhere on Wikipedia). I can't make these changes nor have the time, but please have someone actually knowledgeable on crocodylian evolution edit the pages discussing such topics, as this makes Wikipedia look like a terrible resource. (talk) 00:07, 4 March 2011 (UTC)

Not done: please be more specific about what needs to be changed. You need to tell us exactly what changes should be made, and provide sources for those requested changes. While I concur that the article is missing a lot of needed citations, unfortunately, without providing us info, it's not really possible for us to make the change. Please keep in mind that Wikipedia is a volunteer project, and nothing can compel anyone to edit any given article. In any event, edit requests are for making specific requests of changes to be made, not for general concerns. If you do have time later, we certainly welcome your knowledge and would love to have you help provide us with improvements. Qwyrxian (talk) 07:43, 4 March 2011 (UTC)

Note that National Geographic says "species" is 150 million years old. Student7 (talk) 18:59, 6 March 2011 (UTC)

The statement made about a lack of any average lifespan may or may not be accurate, however, citation #5, which supports this, is a link to a prominent physicist. I doubt that it's accurate.

Grammatical disaster[edit]

"14 feet" should be "14-foot" when used as an adjective.Ryoung122 21:02, 3 May 2011 (UTC)

Translation detail[edit]

Near the beginning of the article it is stated that "el lagarto", the etymological root of the word "alligator", is the Spanish word for lizard. While this is more or less accurate, it is technically incorrect; it is more precisely described as a Spanish phrase which literally translates into "the lizard". As a note of general interest I add that the word "lagarto" (as opposed to the nearly synonymous "lagartija") carries connotations of larger size when used to refer to a reptile; however, this information is likely unnecessary in the context of the article. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:39, 28 May 2011 (UTC)

Edit request from, 6 September 2011[edit]

Second paragraph under albino states: "Albino alligators have a non-functional gene for melanin, which makes them albino. The is the common trait of all albino vertebrates."

The second sentence of this makes absolutely no sense and needs to be corrected. (talk) 04:49, 6 September 2011 (UTC)

It makes sense to me. Its saying that the non-functional gene is a common thing among all albino vertebrates. --Jnorton7558 (talk) 12:05, 6 September 2011 (UTC)

Alligators as "living fossils"[edit]

The current version of the article claims that alligators have changed little in 200 million years. It also classifies them as crocodilians and links to that article, which says that the order Crocodilia appeared 84 million years ago. I don't know this field, but that strikes me as a contradiction. Can someone who knows about it reconcile the two articles?Jbening (talk) 01:48, 18 December 2011 (UTC)

Edit request on 23 January 2012[edit]

Footnote 2 and the paragraph it refers to should be modified to reflect new information: see here:

NetMater (talk) 23:40, 23 January 2012 (UTC)

X mark.svg Not done, a facebook photo is not a reliable source--Jac16888 Talk 23:45, 23 January 2012 (UTC)

alligator population rebounds after hunting ceases[edit]

I am confused about the author's intent in the following:

" ...immediately following the outlawing of alligator hunting, populations rebounded quickly due to the suppressed number of adults preying upon juveniles, increasing survival among the young alligators..."

How is it possible for the survival rate of young alligators to improve if MORE adults exist to eat them ?

Aardfilm (talk) 23:53, 19 April 2012 (UTC)

Let's say 100 adult alligators eats 1000 juveniles (for example) out of 10,000 hatchlings. And 100 alligators is the entire adult population in a given area. Once humans stop hunting, there are still only 100 adults eating 1,000 juveniles but the hatchlings don't have to contend with human hunters who are much more voracious (and capture eggs, as well)! So instead of the other 9000 falling to humans, many of those 9,000 reach adulthood. So, for a relatively short time, the population expands enormously. This sort of rebound would be fairly typical for many reptiles and insects, I would think. Student7 (talk) 00:11, 25 April 2012 (UTC)

I see ... I had assumed that taking hatchlings or eggs would be illegal ... and only adult animals could be hunted. Aardfilm (talk) 13:43, 1 May 2012 (UTC)

I don't know about restrictions now on eggs, but alligators were considered more of a nuisance up until the time that they started being "protected" by the US government in 1967. Kind of like spiders. Not exactly cuddly creatures!  :) I think that hunting them is much more controlled now. But the point was, reptiles can reproduce rapidly. In the case of sea turtles, there are "other" problems, but initial reproduction is quite high. Student7 (talk) 19:03, 6 May 2012 (UTC)

Edit request on 28 June 2013[edit] (talk) 22:06, 28 June 2013 (UTC)

Not done: That video is about Crocadiles, not Alligators, and youtube links are discouraged due to copyright issues. RudolfRed (talk) 01:50, 29 June 2013 (UTC)

Edit request on 28 Oct 2013[edit]

I would suggest removing the link to in the Alligator#Human uses section since it's information is specific to Louisiana.

Bergeycm (talk) 04:29, 28 October 2013 (UTC)

Not done: Sorry, but that is a commercial page and doesn't provide a reference to support any of the things stated in the article. Remember, Wikipedia is not a tourist site. Thanks. --Stfg (talk) 09:37, 28 October 2013 (UTC)
Yes check.svg Done. Don't understand last answer which says the same thing but has a different answer. The link was WP:SPAM as Bergeycm pointed out. It needed to be rm. Thanks. Student7 (talk) 16:13, 2 November 2013 (UTC)
Stupid of me -- I completely misread the request. My apologies to Bergeycm, and thanks to Student7 for fixing it. --Stfg (talk) 17:24, 2 November 2013 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 6 February 2014[edit]

Please change

[[Temperature-dependent sex determination|The sex of the offspring]] is determined by the temperature


The sex of the offspring is [[Temperature-dependent sex determination|determined by the temperature]]

I originally expected the link to talk about the sex of young alligators, not to talk about the process by which that's ascertained.

2001:18E8:2:28CA:F000:0:0:7A27 (talk) 15:23, 6 February 2014 (UTC)

Good catch. Done. Chiswick Chap (talk) 15:44, 6 February 2014 (UTC)


Under "Description" it says: "A large adult American alligator's weight and length is 360 kg (790 lb) and 4.0 m (13.1 ft), but they can grow to 4.4 m (14 ft) long and weigh over 450 kg (990 lb).[2] The largest ever recorded, found in Louisiana, measured 5.84 m (19.2 ft)."

The last sentence contradicts the prior statement that they can grow "TO 4.4 m" which means no greater than 4.4 m.

Suggested rewording:

"An average [or 'a typical'] large adult American alligator weighs 360 kg (790 lb) to 450 kg (990 lb) and is 4.0 m (13.1 ft) to 4.4 m (14 ft) long. The largest ever recorded, found in Louisiana, measured 5.84 m (19.2 ft)." (talk) 12:55, 11 February 2014 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 27 March 2014[edit]

no million year thing lot of people do NOT believe that (talk) 21:51, 27 March 2014 (UTC)

Not done: it's not clear what changes you want made. Please mention the specific changes in a "change X to Y" format. NiciVampireHeart 22:17, 27 March 2014 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 28 May 2014[edit]

LoveDragon379 (talk) 17:44, 28 May 2014 (UTC)

Correct attribution of name?[edit]

This section credits the genus Alligator to Daudin 1809, which is supported by the Paleobiology database. The ITIS taxonomy database gives credit to Cuvier 1807. I am inclined to believe the ITIS database is more accurate, but would be interested if anyone has any other sources confirming either as the correct attribution. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:17, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

See you later[edit]

I cant help but feel as though the expression "see you later, alligator" should be included on this wiki article it's significance culturally is undeniable and has had an impact on the linguist patterns of the majority of humans. period. Please include a funfacts section with this and others. it would provide many opportunities for advanced learning and encourage learning this is our hope. please.

Coypu vs. Nutria[edit]

I have changed all occurrences of Nutria in the article to Coypu. The main reason is that the WP article for the rodent is titled Coypu; there is a redirect from Nutria. In addition, Coypu is arguably more appropriate based on its generally wider use than Nutria. The issue of the most appropriate name of Myocastor coypus for WP has already been discussed at length at Talk:Coypu. Twistlethrop (talk) 20:00, 29 September 2015 (UTC)

Edit request: Muja's years[edit]

Hello friends,

World's oldest known alligator Muja was brought here to the Belgrade Zoo on the 12th of september 1937 (, so he's been here for 78 years now (I just saw him two days ago btw, great fella). So the line "In 1937, a one-year-old specimen was brought to the Belgrade Zoo in Serbia from Germany. It is now 76 years old." should be edited to at least 78 years old, if not 79.

Greetings from Serbia, Milan. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:26, 11 October 2015 (UTC)

Don't feed in winter[edit]

According to Did you know... for 12/16/2015, "alligators don't feed in winter." If correct, that seems worth mentioning here. Dick Kimball (talk) 14:17, 16 December 2015 (UTC)

Oldest Aligator[edit]

This page states that Muja is the oldest alligator at 80. This is wrong, the oldest aligator is named Saturn and is Located at the Moscow zoo at age 85. I would have fixed myself but someone protected it.

source source source (not english)

ReddOne (talk) 23:17, 11 April 2016 (UTC)

What is the color / skin pigment range[edit]

Yes, there may be pictures in the article, but it struck me very odd that there is nothing describing the color of alligators. I came here because it always bothers me when they are described as green. I have never seen a green alligator. I've been up close to many alligators both in zoos and in the wild growing up in Florida. None were green. Dhugot (talk) 21:17, 16 July 2016 (UTC)