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The Most Messed Up Things Alligators Do When They're Killing You (Or Other Living Things)

Updated July 21, 2020 64k views12 items
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Alligators are easily one of the scariest creatures you can find in the US. These fearsome hunters spend most of their time lounging around, but once they set their mind to attacking prey, little can be done to stop them. Alligator eating habits are generally focused more on fish, small game, and even predators like Florida panthers, but that doesn't mean they won't take a bite out of a human if they feel threatened or sufficiently hungry.

How do alligators hunt? Ruthlessly. And they're not content with just biting you and making it quick; death by alligator is a process with numerous steps, all of which are brutal. With their sharp teeth, strong jaws, intelligence, and ability to sprint short distances, alligators are fearsome hunters who are perfectly suited to their role as an apex predator.

  • Alligators Use Tricks To Lure In Prey

    Video: YouTube

    Waiting and camouflage aren't the only tricks in an alligator's arsenal. These cunning creatures have also been observed to use tools and tricks to attract prey, including balancing sticks on their snouts to encourage birds to get close. Not only is it creepy to think that alligators are capable of such complex behavior, but if you take it a step further, this kind of behavior requires that alligators have the ability to analyze and learn how and when birds are most likely to be looking for twigs for their nests. What other temptations are they capable of? 

  • When An Alligator Strikes, It Strikes Fast

    Photo: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    Alligators are best known for being able to sit quietly while also looking threatening. But that's before they attack - just because an alligator spends much of its life lying in wait doesn't mean it's incapable of moving quickly. In fact, alligators can swim up to 20 miles per hour and run up to 11 mph, not to mention jump out of the water at high speeds to nab their prey. Though they might not be the fastest creatures around, it only takes one solid bite to take their prey down.

  • Alligators Are Great At Ambushing Prey

    Alligators are ambush preditors more than they are hunters. They're able to wait until their prey comes to them, though they don't just stay in just one place. They also tend to surprise rather than wear down their prey over time, so there's really no time to escape from an alligator once it has you. They then drag their prey into the water and hold them there, making escape impossible unless you get phenomenally lucky.

  • Alligators Intentionally Drown Large Prey

    Though alligators mostly eat small game and fish, they do occasionally get their jaws on something bigger. When it comes to killing something larger than they are, it's not just their brute strength that gets the job done, it's their ability to drown their prey. By rolling around in what's called a "death roll," alligators keep their prey submerged until it finally drowns. Once it's dead, the alligator can enjoy its meal without a struggle.