Sunday, January 8, 2012

Raccoons & Alligators 02

Feeding on Alligator Eggs
Raccoons are very fond of eggs, including alligator eggs. They won’t hesitate to plunder a gator nest, feed on its eggs and even kill and devour the new born hatchlings if the alligator mother is not near by guarding the nest. Nevertheless, even new born alligator hatchlings are already equipped with tinny but very sharp teeth to defend themselves. Their jaw muscles are well developed to perform a powerful bite and not to let go once the prey is caught. If an alligator hatchling gets hold of a raccoon, it might not cause any serious injury but it will be difficult for the raccoon to free itself.

It must be noted thought that adult female alligators have not many difficulties of overpowering and killing any raccoon that ventured too close to their nest. In fact, alligators prey frequently on raccoons when they come too close to the water. Like any crocodilian, the submerged alligator will approach  potential prey from beneath the water surface and stalking it. Raccoons not just visit lakes, rivers or water holes not just to drink but to “wash” their food as well. This habit makes any raccoon an easy and welcome target for alligator attacks. The gator will leap out of the water, grabbing the prey with its powerful jaw and dragging it under water to drown the animal. Alligators will not consume their prey under water but rather emerge to the surface and swallow it whole. If the kill is to large, it will be ripped into smaller peaces, by slapping it heavily against the water surface or other alligators might join into a feeding frenzy, ripping the prey to shreds.

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