If you’re spending time outdoors on Daufuskie Island, it’s likely you’ll see an alligator.
While alligators are typically shy and prefer to avoid humans, they can be dangerous if provoked. In this article, we will discuss some tips for identifying alligators so that you can stay safe and enjoy your outdoor experience!
One of the first things to look for when trying to identify alligators is their size.
Alligators can range in length from just a few feet to over 15 feet long! If you see something that looks like it could be an alligator, be sure to take a good look at its size before getting too close.
A rule of thumb:
- Focus on the head
- Locate the the midpoint between the eyes on the skull
- 1 inch = 1 foot
Alligators also have a very distinct shape, which can help you to identify them.
They have a long, muscular body with short legs and a long tail. Their head is large and rounded, with small eyes that sit on the top of their head. If you see something that has this general shape, it’s likely an alligator!
Finally, alligators tend to be a dark green or black color. They underside of their tail is striped, which may look like some species of fish. If you see something that is this color and fits the other descriptions we’ve given, there’s a good chance it’s an alligator!
If you see any of the following signs, there may be an alligator nearby:
- -Alligators often sun themselves on logs or banks.
- -They may bask in the sun with only their eyes and nostrils above water.
- -Alligators may slide into the water silently without making a splash.
- -You may see alligators “sunning” with only their eyes and nostrils exposed.
- -Alligators bellow loudly during the mating season, which runs from April to June.
- -Nests are built of vegetation and are usually located on dry land near water.
- -If you see a nest, stay well away from it as alligators can be aggressive when protecting their young.
- -Alligator tracks look like those of a lizard or dinosaur.
If you do happen to see an alligator, be sure to give it plenty of space and do not try to approach it.
Remember, alligators are wild animals and can be dangerous if they feel threatened. Just watch them from afar, and you can observe these amazing dinosaur-like creatures that have only shrunk from their B.C. ancestors.