American Alligator Diet
American Alligators, like all crocodilians, are carnivorous. Hatching, juveniles, and adults will eat a variety of insects. As they grow larger they will eat snakes, turtle, and snails. Slow - moving fish, small mammals, and birds are included in their diet. Larger adults sometimes take small calves and, very occasionally, people.
Alligators are predators they live by killing and eating other creatures. They'll eat anything they can catch, from birds, snakes, and turtles, to animals as big as deer and cows.
How gators Hunt
Alligators are very successful hunters. This is because an alligator hunts very quietly. It swims slowly along the shore, with just its eyes and nostrils peeking above the water's surface. It looks for prey that is in its size range, such as a turtle or bird. When an alligator has located its prey, it submerges itself underwater. Then it explodes out of the water in one quick burst. The gator grasps its victim in its jaws and drags it underwater to drown.
The alligator in this picture bellow is nearly hidden, with just its eyes and nostrils above water. Its waiting to ambush a bird, a fish, a raccoon, a turtle, or even a deer that could become dinner. The same way you inflate a raft, the gator can take air into its lungs to make its big body float. It can submerge to any depth by controlling the amount of air inside. Because its nostrils, ears, and eyes are on top of its head, the alligator can have the rest of its body hidden and still breathe, hear, and look around.
The only time it's safe to feed an alligator is if you are a professional. Here, a keeper feeds a dead chicken to an alligator at Florida's Gatorland.