Almost all animal predators are distinguished for having a strong set of jaws and teeth. Alligators are amongst the top carnivores that are highly adapted to prey and feed on other animals.
With their big teeth, they can also grab and pull preys easily into water, or just keep biting till they die.
It’s a shocking scene to witness!
The Science Behind Alligators’ Jaws
An alligator’s jaws come with a full set of 80 teeth, but that number is never actually stable.
All teeth are divided into groups for different feeding stages. However, each of these 80 teeth falls interchangeably.
Over the life span of an alligator, which is usually 30 to 50 years, an alligator’s jaw replaces an average of 3,000 to 4,000 teeth.
Unlike crocodiles, American alligators have a bigger upper jaw compared to the lower one, which makes their teeth invisible when they close their snouts.
Alligators’ strong teeth allow them to feed on preys like: fish, birds, deer, and some reptiles. Their jaws can even break into a turtle’s shell!
Can Humans Handle an Alligator?
Despite the fact that alligators have very strong jaws and teeth, humans have discovered one weak point that made it easier to approach and handle an alligator at a short distance.
The jaw muscles responsible for opening the snout is far weaker than those muscles responsible for opening the jaws.
That’s why it is possible for a human to close an alligator’s snout bare-handed. This also has made it easy to close their snouts with a duct tape during research examinations.
It is expected that researchers would one day learn about curing more human teeth diseases, by studying the alligator’s tooth regeneration process more closely.
Bet you didn’t know that much about alligators, did you?
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