Currently set to Index
Currently set to Follow

Where Do Alligators and Crocodiles Go at Night?

Where Do Alligators and Crocodiles Go at Night

Alligators and crocodiles go on a hunting spree at night. These reptiles are nocturnal animals, and they are active at night. They bask under the sun during the day, and they can sleep for as long as 17 hours.

Alligators and crocodiles may also stay in their holes or dens if extremely cold weather. Some may prowl the waters, and the unlucky prey becomes dinner.

Are alligators and crocodiles nocturnal?

Crocodile with Turtle

Yes, both are nocturnal animals, and they are active from dusk until dawn. Alligators learn to be nocturnal at a young age.

When alligators hatch, their mothers protect them, but do not feed them. Because there are many predators that can eat these baby gators, they hunt at night. At night, these baby alligators leave their pods and hunt alone.

Crocodiles, like alligators, have a rough childhood. Despite the mother’s protection, there are many predators that lurk to eat them. As such, both crocodilians evolved into nocturnal creatures. As early as being hatchling, they needed to learn how to hunt at night.

Related Article: What Sounds Do Crocodiles Make?

Where do crocodiles and alligators hunt at night?

They hunt on both land and water. That is what they do. Do they hunt on land, too? Yes, they do, but not often.

Alligators and crocodiles are semi-aquatic reptiles. Their territory is the water, and both are in the zone for hunting, stalking, and lunging at prey in water.

From time to time, crocodiles and alligators will feed on an animal that is on land. Most of the time, they feed on a carcass. However, if an animal is tethered or injured on land, the croc or gator will also attempt to take the meal back into the water.

Both alligators and crocodiles can run on land, and both of them are fast. A Nile crocodile can run up to 35 kilometers per hour, while a gator can reach speeds of 32 kilometers per hour.

Related Article: Can Crocodiles and Alligators Walk Backwards?

Can crocodiles see at night?

chinese alligator

Yes, crocodiles have night vision, and they see things clearly at night—better than humans can. The crocodile’s eyes are an engineering marvel.

Apart from being able to see, they have a high level of visual acuity—they can see in panoramic view. What it does is help them spot prey because they can see an entire horizon.

The eyes of the crocodile are like a cat’s eyes. They can see in many colors, underwater and at night. The eyes are one of the most powerful tools of a croc. The position of the croc’s eyes allows it to see targets almost all around them, except the back.

But how do crocodiles see at night and underwater? The crocodile’seyes have a transparent membrane that it can activate at will. It is a film that protects their eyes, which acts like pair of goggles.

While this membrane protects the eyes of the crocodileunderwater, but it also somehow impairs their vision, but only when underwater.

On the surface and at night, their pupils completely open, and it is this process makes them see at night. Behind the eyewalls are mirrored crystals. At night, these crystals reflect light back into the retina, which amplifies the things they see at night.

Related Article: Do Alligators Have Webbed Feet?

Can alligators see at night?

alligator

Yes, like crocodiles, alligators have a night vision, too. Similarly, the alligator’s pupils become narrower in the daytime and expand at night, giving them better vision.

Like cats, the eyes of an alligator have a component called tapetum lucidum. It is a structure made of photoreceptor cells. What they do is make the best out of the light that is available at night.

The eyeshine of cats and alligators is caused by the tapetum lucidum. In gators, the eyes glow red. For cats, it is often yellow.

The Tapetum lucidum is a reflective layer located behind the retina. Its main function is to increase the amount of light that the eyes can process. It is like a mirrorless surface that bounces off the light.

Related Article: Do Alligators Sleep?

Where do alligators sleep at night?

Alligators hunt at night. They go to the water and prowl for prey. Alligators are mostly ambush predators, so they spot prey, and then they lie in wait to attack.

Some alligators dig a hole or a burrow. These holes are called gator holes. They live there when the temperature drops. If it is too cold at night, they will stay in that hole. This phase is a dormancy called brumation. Alligators can stay there for months.

Related Article: Are Crocodiles and Alligators Scared of Humans?

Do crocodiles come out at night?

crocodile

Yes, crocodiles come out at night. They are active at night, and their main mission is to look for food. People who live in areas where there are crocs should beware—the same thing applies with campers.

Although crocodiles are nocturnal animals, they also hunt during the day. They look for food when they are hungry or if the opportunity arises. It is why they congregate when ne croc manages to kill a wildebeest in the afternoon. They also hunt zebras crossing the river even if it is mid-day.

During the day, what crocodiles do mostly is bask under the sun. Crocodiles and alligators are cold-blooded animals. They cannot regulate their temperature, so they must absorb heat from the sun while they can.

When it gets too hot, the crocodile will go back in the water to coold down. This body temperature reulation is one of the things that dictate what the crocodile will do.

Crocodiles also sleep during the day, but this does not mean inactive. Crocodiles go through a half-sleep mode. It means that while asleep, half of the brain is awake. It is why it is difficult to sneak up on a croc.

Related Article: Do Crocodiles Mate for Life?

Summary

Alligators and crocodiles hunt at night because both of them are nocturnal animals. They have to face many predators the moment they hatch. Their lifestyle was built on the fact that they were safer at night hunting when they were small. Both the alligator and the crocodile have night vision. They are extremely well-adapted at night. Their eyes can see underwater and reflect more light at night, making them formidable nocturnal hunters.

Skip to content