how long can alligator stay underwater
Do alligators make any sounds?
You can guess an alligator’s length accurately by guessing the distance from its eyes to its nose in inches. For each inch add one foot of length. 4 inches = 4 feet long and so on.
Crocodiles use a waste product of metabolism – the bicarbonate ions formed when carbon dioxide dissolves in water – as the trigger for haemoglobin to unload the oxygen it carries. The more energy the crocodile’s cells burn up, the more carbon dioxide they produce. So the bicarbonate triggering mechanism ensures that large quantities of oxygen are supplied only to the hard-working tissues that need it the most, thus conserving a submerged crocodile’s limited supplies. This efficient system of oxygen allocation, combined with the reptile’s very slow metabolism, explains how it is able to survive underwater for so long.
To find out which part of the crocodile’s haemoglobin performs this trick, Hennakao Komiyama, Kiyoshi Nagai and colleagues at the Medical Research Council’s Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge made haemoglobin molecules that were part-crocodile and part-human. They looked for those that were triggered to release oxygen by bicarbonate ions, and found that human haemoglobin behaved like its counterpart in crocodiles if it contained a particular sequence of just 12 amino acids from the crocodile’s haemoglobin.
On the other hand, alligators can be quite dangerous. They are instinctual living machines. An alligator’s brain weighs only 8 or 9 grams and would take up only one-half of a tablespoon. This lack of brain power means there is no such thing as a “nice alligator.” If it’s hungry, an alligator will eat anything that moves. Pets and children who wander near an alligator pond are frequent victims of this instinctive behavior.
While there are reports of one alligator, held in captivity, that lived to be well over 100 years old, something like 40 years might be a more typical old age for alligators living in the wild.
Alligators dine on many strange delicacies: sharks, kumquats, and stones. Scientists have long thought that, like birds, gators swallow stones to help them digest their tough-to-process meals, or accidentally ingest them in the chaos of consuming a live, thrashing dinner. But a new study supports another use for a belly full of rocks—as a way to boost bottom time on dives.
The researchers think the stones work like a scuba diver’s weight belt, letting alligators and crocs stay deep under the surface even when their lungs are full of air. And the greater the weight, the more air they can take in before they dive deep. Because the current study used juvenile alligators, which have lighter, more cartilaginous tissues, the researchers want to run it again in adults. But for now, it appears that the mystery stones aid these powerful reptiles in doing what they do best: lying in wait, and out of sight.
Although the creatures were as still as if they were dead, experts have assured the public that this is simply how alligators survive in unexpectedly cold weather.
W hile, when the weather permits it, alligators can usually be seen sunning themselves, basking in light filtering through the trees and the sun beating on their backs, the animals can survive in water as cold as 4 degrees celcius, and go into a hibernation-like state in order to keep their bodies warm and conserve energy.