Here's What Happens When You Strap a Camera to an Alligator's Head

Categories: Environmental

gatorcam.jpg
On first glance, the image to the right looks like an alligator with a laser strapped to its back, which is surely some evil genius's biggest dream. In reality, it's a camera placed there by University of Florida biologists. That may not be as exciting as laser-armed gators, but getting to see a gator-eyed view of the world is pretty neat.

UF biologist James Nifong captured 15 gators throughout the waters of Florida and strapped National Geographic provided cameras to their backs in order to get a better insight into their feeding habits and day-to-day lives.

Here are the results:

As it turns out, most gators live pretty boring lives. Because they're cold-blooded, docile predators who mostly sit and wait around for their prey to come to them the footage caught wasn't exactly blockbuster worthy. Turns out most gators like to hunt at night, and their diet consists of a lot of small prey like fish and frogs instead of larger meals like deer or your neighbor's dog. Yes, they still occasionally eat larger mammals like that, but that's the exception rather than the rule.

They tend to eat something about once every two hours and are twice as successful at catching food in the water rather on land.

Though, mostly they're kind of clumsy, lazy critters. Scientists caught one gator who was missing part of his tail and got so exhausted from swimming in rougher waters that he just passed out at the bottom for a little while to refresh before waking up and starting again.

Ultimately, Nifong and his team hope that the information they've collected will give them more information into how gators interact with their ecosystem.

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1 comments
Gatorbator
Gatorbator

Cool!  But let's be serious Nat Geo - the reason the gator did the back-flop was to try and dislodge that "backpack" you strapped on.

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