Are There Alligators in Texas?

The American alligator is found in various states across the southeast of the United States. Here, we take a look at if these animals live in Texas or not and what other US states they can be found in.

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Do alligators live in Texas?

Alligators have lived in marshes, swamps, rivers, ponds, and lakes of Texas for centuries. They are an important part of the ecosystem in that state. In fact, the American alligator is the only crocodilian animal native to the state of Texas. Alligators are found in 120 of Texas’ 254 counties.

In Texas, alligators live in the eastern portion of the state, including in bodies freshwater by major cities, such as Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, and the state’s capital, Austin. The highest concentration of alligators in Texas can be found along the Gulf Coastal Plains.

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Are There Alligators in Texas?
Are There Alligators in Texas?

What other states are alligators found in?  

On top of being found in Texas, alligators are found in nine other states across the country. Alligators live in the southeastern United States in the states of:

  • Alabama,
  • Arkansas,
  • Georgia,
  • Florida,
  • Louisiana,
  • Mississippi,
  • North Carolina,
  • Oklahoma, and
  • South Carolina.

The American alligator is usually found in slow-moving, freshwater bodies of water, like rivers, swamps, marshes, and lakes. They cannot live in saltwater because they do not have salt glands. 

What state has the most alligators? 

Louisiana and Florida are the states with the largest population of alligators. The majority of alligators in the US inhabit these two states, and there are over a million alligators in each of these states. 

Texas Parks and Wildlife estimates there to be at least 500,000 alligators in Texas!

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What do the alligators that live in Texas eat? 

American alligators are carnivores, which means that they are meat-eaters. Alligators that are smaller than three feet, such as young alligators, will usually eat small creatures, such as insects, spiders, minnows, shrimp, crawfish, and crabs.

As these alligators grow, they will eat bigger animals, such as turtles, snakes, frogs, small birds, and fish. Large alligators are opportunistic eaters and will eat whatever they find, such as all of the animals listed above, as well as otters, wading birds, raccoons, white-tailed deer, wild hogs, and other alligators.  

Has there ever been a deadly alligator attack in the state of Texas?  

In Texas, alligator and human conflicts are rare. There are no recorded fatal alligator attacks in Texas. If you see an alligator in Texas, it is best to use common sense and good judgment, stay safe from the alligator, and avoid interacting with it. 

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How big are American alligators? 

Male alligators are larger than female alligators. On average, female alligators grow to be about 8 feet long. Male alligators usually grow to be about 11 feet long.

Very large alligators may weigh up to half a ton. The largest American alligator ever recorded was found in Louisiana and was 19 feet and three inches long! 

Are alligators reptiles?  

The term “reptiles” describes a group of animals that are cold-blooded and are vertebrates (which means that they have backbones). Reptiles are also covered in scales or bony plates and have dry skin (unlike amphibians). Additionally, reptiles usually lay soft-shelled eggs.

This sounds like an alligator. Right? Well, that is because alligators are, in fact, reptiles! Other examples of reptiles include snakes, lizards, chameleons, turtles, tortoises, and crocodiles.  

Are alligators and crocodiles related? 

Alligators and crocodiles are related! Alligators and crocodiles are from the same scientific order (Crocodylia), but they are members of different families. Alligators are members of the alligatordae family, while crocodiles are from the crocodylidae family.

The Alligatoridae family contains alligators and caimans, which look very similar to the American alligator but are found in Central and South America. 

Alligator vs crocodile
Alligator vs. Crocodile

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Do crocodiles live in Texas? 

Crocodiles are not native to the state of Texas. There is only one state in the United States where crocodiles live, and that is Florida. The American crocodile lives in the southern part of Florida and in coastal areas throughout the Caribbean.

Do crocodiles live in Texas?
Do crocodiles live in Texas?

In these areas, this crocodile can be found in brackish or saltwater areas, as well as in ponds, creeks, coves, and swamps. The American crocodile is endangered, which is due in part to illegal hunting and habitat destruction. 

Related Questions

Which is more dangerous, an alligator or crocodile?

Alligators are feeding on whatever food is available; they will not chase down anyone unless provoked. Crocodiles are more aggressive than alligators meaning more dangerous. They have the strongest bite and are bigger animals. They are also quite competitive, which makes them even more aggressive.

What are alligators afraid of?

Alligators are afraid of humans. They retreat when approached by people. It is extremely rare for wild alligators to chase humans. Alligators generally do not attack people because they find them too big pray to deal with. Most alligators can be easily scared away from boats or fishing lures, and making a lot of noise also seems to scare them away.

What is the difference between male or female alligators?

It can be difficult to spot the difference between male or female alligators. The most common is to look at the size of the snout and body. Females have narrower snouts and bodies and can grow to 10 feet, and males can grow up to 15 feet. Also, a difference can be spotted when looking at a slit located between the rear legs. If it’s dark red, it’s a male. On the other hand, female organs are much smaller and are white or light pink.

Do Alligators hibernate?

Alligators do not hibernate in a common sense of that word. Alligators temporarily shut down in a process called brumation, which is hibernation-like behavior, when the temperature drops down lower than 40 degrees. Their metabolism slows down, and they become lethargic. Alligators can be in brumation for a few months.