Saturday, January 3, 2015

Can you outrun an alligator?

Alligators are frighteningly quick but they're not cheetah fast and they don't like to run long distances. 

It's very rare for an alligator to chase a human on dry land. And the average human could easily outrun an alligator - it tops out at a speed of around 11 miles per hour, and it can't maintain that speed for very long.

More importantly, gaining on prey via a long sprint is not the alligator's attack tactic. The alligator prefers to sneak up on its prey in the water. It's a much faster swimmer than runner -- it can swim 20 miles per hour. And it's silent as it moves through water. Its eyes are set on top of its head, so it can swim while watching what's happening on the surface. It can also remain underwater for extended periods of time and hold its breath for up to one hour.

So sure, you could probably outrun an alligator. But the likelihood that an alligator would ever chase you on dry land is low.

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