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What Do Alligators Eat? – All About Their Diet

Alligators are animals that eat almost any kind of flesh. They are not very selective and are majorly opportunistic feeders who rely on ambushing unsuspecting prey in their natural habitat.

They are apex predators and have predators themselves only when they are young. This guide discusses alligator diets and other uncommon foods they love to eat but barely ever get in their habitat.

What is the Natural Alligator Diet?

Alligators eat most animals that share their habitat with them. Their diet ranges from amphibians to mammals, birds and Fish. Here is a list of their common meal choices.

  1. Fish.
  2. Clams.
  3. Crustaceans.
  4. Insects.
  5. Snakes.
  6. Frogs.
  7. Worms.
  8. Shrimp.
  9. Mollusks.
  10. Turtles.
  11. Waterfowl.

The list above comprises alligators’ natural diet. On lucky days, however, some alligators catch and kill raccoons, stray deer and other small animals to vary their diet.

How Often Does an Alligator Eat?

Alligators typically eat once a week. They try to get a major catch and can move on the strength of the kill for up to a week before actively seeking another food. Alligators’ ability to survive on one major meal weekly is due to their natural ability to save excess calories in the fat deposits at their tail base. They regularly depend on the excess storage until it is exhausted.

Alligator Diet - Fish

How Much Do Alligators Eat Per Day?

Alligators can consume 18 kilograms of food in a single go and will not need to eat for the entire week. However, if they don’t get that much, then an average of 1 to 3 kilograms of food is enough for daily sustenance.

How Long Can Alligators Live Without Food?

If food sources are extremely scarce, alligators can almost shut down their metabolism for up to three years without eating. At this stage, the alligator lives in a sleep state, where it does not perform its normal functions and barely interacts with its environment.

How Do Alligators Kill Their Prey?

Alligators often attack with their jaws and follow up with a twist-and-roll technique that helps them inflict severe damage on the prey. If the alligator is much bigger than the prey, it will complete the kill in a few minutes and immediately swallow.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Alligators Eat Humans?

There have been several instances where Alligators were documented to eat humans. This phenomenon is, however, very rare as alligators do not actively hunt or stalk humans.

They also do not enjoy eating humans, as most alligators often leave a corpse they killed untouched. Summarily, alligators can eat humans but prefer other animals for food.

Do Alligators Eat Deer?

Alligators enjoy deer meat and will swiftly pounce if an unsuspecting one is unaware that it’s being stalked. Alligators have ambushed and killed deer drinking, swimming or walking by river banks. Most deer tend to avoid alligator-infested rivers as much as possible.

Do Alligators Eat Dogs?

A good number of unsuspecting stray dogs have ended up in the belly of Florida Alligators, which confirms that not even canines are off limits for these giant reptiles. Massive alligators have been reported to eat huge dogs like Pit bulls, German Shepherds and Great Danes. Maturing alligators often beat dogs in a fight and eat them afterwards.

Do Alligators Like Marshmallows?

Alligators are known to like Marshmallows and will eat them if offered. It is advised not to feed a wild alligator, no matter your good intent. They will only end up associating you and your loved ones with food and could actively stalk your home and may attack unsuspecting families or neighbors.

Do Alligators Eat Each Other?

Larger alligators occasionally eat small alligators during scarcity. Also, fights between two adults could lead to serious injuries, death and cannibalism by the victor. Cannibalism is not strange with alligators, so they do eat themselves.

Where & How to See Alligators in Your State?

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