If you’ve never been to the Gulf area, you’ve probably never seen an alligator. But anyone down here will tell you—the swamp is the best place to see them! Before you take a bayou adventure, find out more about these modern dinosaurs with Adventures of Jean Lafitte. You might even surprise your friends and family with what you know.
Are There Different Kinds Of Alligators?
Everyone knows the American alligator! It’s famously found along the Gulf Coast and a fan favorite of those perusing the swamp. But there is, in fact, another type of gator out there—the Chinese alligator.
Chinese gators are much smaller than their American counterparts. American gators can grow up to 15 feet, but Chinese gators cap out at about six or seven. If these two are ever in the room together and can’t be differentiated by size, another good way to tell is by looking at the snout. Chinese gators have a smaller and more upturned snout, making them tend to look like caimans.
Unfortunately, both of these big reptiles have had their issues with their population. Currently, the Chinese gator populace is around 100 in the wild. On the other hand, there is some good news. Many zoos and conservation teams have been having a good time repopulating their numbers. And on the American side, they have moved into the ‘least concern’ category, now with numbers well into 2 million!
While there are only two types of gators out there, there are many creatures that tend to be confused for these beasts. Caimans, crocodiles…even smaller creatures such as lizards from time to time!
Are Alligators Like Frogs?
We get this question more often than you’d think! But it has a rather long-winded answer. Because yes, they are alike, but then, no—they’re very different.
The main difference is that gators are giant reptiles and frogs are amphibians. Amphibians spend a good amount of time in the water and need to be wet in order to be healthy. While alligators spend a good amount of time in the water, they aren’t amphibians. We can usually tell if a creature is amphibious or not by their skin. If a critter has scales—you know this is a reptile. On the other hand, amphibians have smooth skin they breathe and drink through. Additional differences can go on and on, depending on the specific species.
But like we said, they’re also very similar. Many amphibians lay eggs just as lizards do, but their eggs are often in the water and are soft to the touch. And while amphibians have webbed feet, most reptiles have clawed toes. However, some reptiles like the gator also have webbed toes for swimming! On top of everything, both amphibians and reptiles are cold-blooded creatures. But while reptiles bask in the heat, amphibians don’t want to risk drying out their skin. They instead look for a sweet spot of just right humidity. Overall, these two types of creatures can be very similar. So similar, in fact, that amphibians were once considered reptiles for a time.
So, yes, gators are like frogs, but they’re full of differences too!
Take A Ride With Our Alligator Tour In New Orleans
Ready to learn more about Louisiana’s gators? Schedule your tour with us today and take your adventure tomorrow. Have a question for us about our processes? Please feel free to call us at 504-323-0570 or send us a message. We want to make sure that your alligator tour in New Orleans is one to remember.