What Does an Alligator Look Like?

Physical Description of an Alligator

Alligators have distinct scaly and bony plates that cover the top of their muscular bodies and tails. Adult males are anywhere from ten to fifteen feet long, on average, while female alligators are about eight to nine feet in length. The pests range in color from dark olive to gray or black and often have white stomachs. Their feet are webbed and their eyes are yellow-brown. Yellow stripes can be found on young alligators, while adults sometimes have darker stripes.

Alligators in Yards

The large predators commonly inhabit freshwater bodies such as lakes or swamps. In some instances, the pests enter yards where ponds or pools are present, putting humans and pets at risk of serious injury. Alligators are often confused with a similar species, American crocodiles, but can be identified thanks to several distinctive attributes. For one, crocodiles are almost exclusively found in salt water. Additionally, the endangered pests are rarely seen by people as their population size is significantly smaller than that of alligators. Physically, crocodiles have long and narrow snouts, compared to the wide, round snouts of alligators.


Since some can weigh up to 1,000 pounds, alligators are dangerous when in close proximity to people and pets. The pests are agile swimmers, runners, and climbers and use these abilities to attack prey. They also have sharp claws and teeth and strong, heavy tails. If alligators are found near homes or in yards, contact Critter Control to manage and remove infestations.