Currently set to Index
Currently set to Follow

How Strong Are Alligators?

How Strong Are Alligators
Alligator in captivity

The alligator has a bite force of between 2,125 and 2,980 pounds per square inch. The bite force is somewhat similar to the weight of a pickup truck. The bite force of an alligator depends on its size.

Overall, the alligator’s bite force is the sixth strongest on the planet. It can easily outpower the bite force of big cats like lions.

Are alligator tails strong?

Alligator Snout
Alligator Snout

Yes, alligator tails are strong. An alligator can use its tail to whip an animal or a human being to defend itself.

This video on YouTube shows an alligator whipping its tail and knocked off a caretaker. In the video, it did not even seem that the alligator was trying. The woman fell, and she was lucky that there was someone with her to support her.

Alligator tails are so strong that the gators use their tails to propel themselves out of the water. Alligators can “jump” off the water if they so wish.

Alligators also use their tails as propellers underwater. When they swim, their tuck their feet to their sides. If they want to steer to the left or right, they use their tails to do it. They also move their tails to swim.

Related Article: What attracts alligators and crocodiles?

Are alligators stronger than crocodiles?

Chinese Alligator in Captivity
Chinese Alligator in Captivity

No, alligators are not stronger than crocodiles. By bite force, the saltwater crocodile is more powerful. It can generate up to 3,700 pounds per square inch of force.

An alligator is behind this force, as the strongest bite recorded was only 2,980 pounds per square inch.

By body type, crocodiles are also stronger. The biggest crocodile ever caught was Lolong. It was a male saltwater crocodile caught in the Philippines.

Lolong measured 6.17 meters or 20 feet and three inches. It weighed 1,075 kilograms or 2,370 pounds. Until today, Lolong holds the record as the largest crocodile in captivity.

On the other hand, the largest alligator ever recorded was merely15 feet and nine inches. It was an American alligator, and people dubbed it the Stokes Alligator, after the person who found it, Mandy Stokes.

Mandy has been hunting wildlife for most of her life. When she captured the gator, she spent more than an hour fighting it.The Stokes alligator weighed half a ton, or about 1,000 pounds.

The bigger the animal, the stronger it gets. Gators and crocodiles are not fatty animals. As such, their bodies house raw power.

Between the alligators and the crocodiles, the croc easily wins. The good news is that there is only one place in the world where these two live together, which is Florida. As of now, they are not cannibalizing each other.

If they ever start fighting, the crocodile will win. In this case, the government will have to step in, or the crocodiles will eventually wipe out the gator population.

Related Article: Are Alligators Bulletproof?

Is the alligator’s body strong?

Brown and tan alligator
Brown and tan alligator

Yes, the alligator’s body is strong. Alligators are so strong that they can navigate the water without causing disturbances.

An alligator can dive, surface, and even roll sideways in the water even if it has no fins or flippers. How do they do this? Biologists found out that it has something to do with their musculature.

Alligators use their diaphragm and abdominal muscles to power their lungs. The lung becomes something like a flotation device. They not only fill the lungs with air, but they also shift the position of the lungs.

When they dive, they move the lungs to face the tail. If they want to go up to the surface, they move the lungs toward the head

This movement requires special muscle power. It is not only alligators that can do this. Their cousins, the crocodiles, can also manipulate their lings.

Here are the other animals that can do the same thing.

  • African clawed frogs
  • Turtles
  • Salamanders
  • Manatees

One curious thing about an alligator is that its jaws are not strong enough to push upward despite its physical power.

When caretakers want a gator to shut its mouth, they merely put their hands at the top of the jaw and push it down. Alligators do not have the muscle power to push their jaws up if there is weight on them.

Related Article: Are alligators herbivores, carnivores or omnivores?

Is the alligator hide strong?

chinese alligator

Yes, they are strong, but they are not bulletproof. Alligator hide is one of the best materials to make leather. The alligator has armor on its back. The gator is so powerful that people called it the living dragon.

At the back of a gator are bones and massive scutes. A scute is a thick bony plate that some reptiles have. Turtles have scutes. Crocodiles also have scutes.

The scute does not only serve as protection. Alligators also use the scute to prevent water loss during hot weather. The exoskeleton of an alligator also has horny scales.

Despite the power of a gator’s hide, it is not bullet proof. When people shoot at a gator’s back, the bones are likely to take the damage. As such, the gator may seem unfazed. The most fragile part of the gator is the head.

Can alligators bite through the bone?

Alligator eating meat
Alligator eating meat

Yes, alligators can bite through the bone. It takes only 742 pounds of pressure to break a human’s ribs. Alligators can generate about three times that force.

Alligators, however, cannot swallow huge chunks. They need to bite the bones and crack them before the gator can swallow.

Harder bones like the femur will take 899 pounds of force. Even so, it cannot withstand a bite from an alligator.

Summary

Alligators are strong animals, not only because they have powerful bites but because they have muscled bodies. Their body also has armor, but this armor is much more pronounced at the back. The belly of an alligator is soft and weak. The tail of an alligator is also a power that one must not toy with. It can whip people off balance and seriously injure what it hits. Overall, the alligator is truly a living dragon—one that many animals, including humans, can barely defeat in a fair fight.

Skip to content