Alligator Myths: True or False?
Odds are you have probably heard a common myth or two about alligators before. Many people are frightened by these creatures based on stories and preconceived notions passed down from generation to generation. We’ve gathered some popular misconceptions about alligators to uncover the truth. Keeping reading to discover if they are true or false!
Myth 1: Running away in a zigzag pattern is the best way to escape an alligator.
False. It’s a common belief that running away from an alligator in a zigzag pattern will confuse and slow them down. However, if you run away in this pattern you’ll actually shorten the distance between you and the gator.
A more practical way to escape an aggressive alligator is to run away in a straight line as fast as you can. While gators can move quickly on land, they can only do so in short bursts before they tire out.
Myth 2: Alligators are more afraid of us than we think.
True. Alligators are naturally afraid of humans. When encountering a human in the wild, an alligator is more likely to flee than become aggressive. This does not necessarily mean that humans don’t need to be cautious around alligators, but they do not need to live in fear of them. It’s wise to observe alligators from afar, just like during the live feedings at Alligator Alley.
Myth 3: Alligators have great eyesight.
True. It’s a common belief that alligators have bad eyesight due to the shape of their head and position of their eyes. However, because alligators’ eyes are positioned on either side of their head, they actually have a wider view and can spy on prey from afar.
Their eyes are also made to see in extreme low-light conditions. Inside their eye beneath the photoreceptor cells, is a layer called the tapetum lucidum. The layer allows their retina to reflect light back into the cells, increasing the amount of light that the gator can detect.
Myth 4: Alligators can’t climb well.
False. Due to their strong muscles, sharp claws and powerful tails, alligators are actually quite agile climbers. Using their tail, which is half of their body length, alligators can push themselves over a fence or wall if needed. After all, they are distant relatives of lizards who are excellent climbers.
And there you have it – you can’t always believe everything you hear! To see these amazing creatures in action, make a visit to Alligator Alley any day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Visit our website for details on hours and pricing.