Top 10 Alligator Winter Facts

everglades alligator
A cold weather alligator chilling at the bottom of the Turner River in the Big Cypress National Preserve in the Florida Everglades, December 2020 – ©Jacob Katel

10. Alligators stop feeding when the ambient temperature is around 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

9. Alligators go dormant, their metabolism slows down and they spend most of their time being still when the ambient temperature drops below around 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

8. When alligators go dormant, they often create “gator holes,” or mud tunnels that may be located above or below the water line.

7. Because alligators are cold blooded, they regulate their body temperature by basking and napping in the sun.

6. The armor plating on the alligator’s back, called “Scutes,” are also perfect heat conductors when they lay out in the sun.

5. When alligators go dormant it is different from hibernation because they occasionally emerge to drink water and catch some rays. This is called brumation.

4. There have been documented examples of alligators poking their snouts out of frozen water to use like snorkels while they stay still during brumation.

3. The alligator’s direct ancestor is the dinosaur.

2. According to Jack Hanna, “An alligator can go six months to a year without eating.”

1. When the weather warms up the gators thaw out and go into mating season not long after.

By Jacob Katel

Diving into news about water.