Wild Animals

Top 10 Animals that Scare Us the Most

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Alligators are powerful creatures, so a respectful fear may be warranted.
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With a scaly body, menacing glare and powerful chops, the American alligator is one of the most feared animals on the planet. According to the Smithsonian National Zoo, these reptiles grow up to 11 feet (3.3 meters) long on average and weigh up to 450 pounds (204 kg), with some males reaching a staggering 1,000 pounds (453 kg). A gator's tail can pack a wallop and is capable of breaking bones with just one swing, but the animal's real strength lies in its jaws. Most alligators have anywhere from 74 to 80 teeth in their mouths, but it's actually the powerful clamp an alligator delivers to its prey that does the most damage. Experts suggest the best hope for getting a gator to loosen its grip is to punch it in the eyes, nose or ears.

Gators are normally indigenous to the Southeastern coastline, with the greatest population living in Florida, but that's all changing thanks to irresponsible pet owners who purchase the animals as babies and then release them once they get too big to care for. Gator sightings are on the rise in urban areas like New York City, and it's entirely possible one could end up in your own backyard, too. You should never accept an alligator as a pet, and since this armor-skinned gourmand will eat just about anything, never feed one, or it may lose its fear of people and return for seconds.

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