The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

January 17, 2014

Scientists strap cameras onto alligators to learn about hunting tactics

(Continued)

As it turned out, the alligators were hunting relatively more during the night and early morning hours and relatively less during the day and evening. Their best successes were in the early morning hours, between about 4 and 9 a.m. They were also twice as successful when they were attacking prey while submerged under water than when they were above it.

And while alligators may have a popular reputation as big-meal, big-game hunters, in fact they tended to nosh constantly on smaller fare — shrimp, crabs, fish — roughly once every two hours.

The findings provide fresh insight into the reptiles’ dining habits “that have never been observed from the point of view of the alligators,” Nifong said.

———

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