Alligators are large, meat-eating reptiles that spend a lot of their lives in the water. They mostly live in fresh to brackish water, in swamps, marshes, canals, and lakes. Alligators swim very well, mainly using their tails to propel themselves through the water, and also using their webbed feet.
Anatomy: There are two types of alligators, the American alligator and the Chinese alligator. The American alligator grows up to 19 feet (3.5 m) long, weighing up to 600 pounds (270 kg). The Chinese alligator grows to be about 6 feet long (1.8 m).
Diet and Teeth: Alligators are nocturnal and feed primarily at night. Adult gators eat fish, birds, turtles, reptiles, and mammals. They swallow their prey whole. The alligator's conical teeth are used for catching the prey, but do not tear it apart. Alligators have about 80 teeth; when teeth are lost they regrow.