The next time you receive a request for an alligator stuffed toy, be sure that you are picking up the right one. Alligators and crocodiles are quite different and if the recipient of the alligator stuffed toy has any knowledge whatsoever of these amazing creatures, they will undoubtedly know a mistake has been made (if you give them a crocodile instead).
The easiest way to tell an alligator from a crocodile, is by looking at their teeth. When an alligator closes its mouth, the large fourth tooth located in their upper jaw, is not visible. This, on the other hand, does not happen to crocodiles. Alligators have between 74 and 80 teeth in their mouths and as they wear down, they are replaced. In their lifetime, they can go through as many as 3,000 teeth.
Alligators can usually be found living in fresh water such as slow-moving rivers. But, they can also be found in marshes, swamps, and lakes. Since they do not have salt glands, they can only tolerate salt water for short periods of time. When the weather is cold, alligators, will lie dormant for a time. They will excavate a gator hole along waterways and then use it to ‘sleep’ in. Where water levels fluctuate, instead, they dig themselves into hollows in the mud which then fills up with water. Some of these tunnels can reach lengths of 65 feet and gives them protection from extremely hot or cold weather. Once the alligator abandons these burrows, they are often used by other animals.
Male and female alligators differ in size females reach average lengths of 8.2 feet while males can be as long as 11.2 feet. Some exceptions do exist in which males can weigh as much as 1,000 pounds. Alligators are covered in body ‘armor’ which means the skin on their back is covered or armored with bony plates. They have four short legs that have five toes on the front [legs] and four toes on the back. With their long snouts that have upward facing nostrils, they can still breathe while the rest of their body stays underwater.
Online stores have an incredible selection of alligator stuffed toys. They also have a plush crocodile, so word to the wise: choose carefully! Some alligator stuffed toys are a whopping six feet in length (almost as large as the [real] female), one has a frightening gaping mouth which shows all of its razor ‘sharp’ plush teeth he is as real as an alligator stuffed toy is going to get!
Alligators in the wild can live up to 35 years while in captivity their life span can be as long as 50 years. With an alligator stuffed toy, you can be sure to have it as long you like 50 years or more!