Thursday, October 05, 2006

More Gator/Tiger Science

I wrote to many professors asking about Tigers and Alligators, not all of them could respond in time to be listed in the original article. Any further responses will be listed here.

Dr. Pomarico from LSU was kind enough to reply to my questions, here is his analysis.

" Thanks for your question. Here's some information I've collected (in bold) with my unbiased analysis (in purple):

1) Since I assumed we're talking about Florida gators, I went to the everglades website for some info.

The weight of an alligator in relation to its length can vary greatly. One 11 foot 6 inch (3.5 meter) alligator weighed 591 pounds (265 kilograms), whereas another alligator measuring 12 feet 1 inch (3.7 meters) weighed only 460 pounds (209 kilograms).

So your weight quote (exceeding a ton) is a bit high for an average gator and this year’s crop of gators seems to be about average.

2) I also assumed we are talking about Bayou Bengal Tigers so I consulted a website devoted to information about Bengal Tigers.

Bengal Tigers are fully grown and males reach 200-230 kg (440-500 lbs) and up to 3 m in length (about 10 feet) with another 3 feet of tail.

That makes our weight comparison fairly even.

3) The other aspects in a battle will be influenced by the environment (i.e., home turf).

On land alligators can lumber along dragging their tails, whereas, tigers possess both speed and agility. However gators can walk on their toes with most of the tail well off the ground. Using this "high walk" alligators can run up to 30 miles per hour (38 kph) for short distances! So they may surprise the tiger with a burst of speed.

If the tiger can avoid this surprise, then the edge goes to them.

The natural inclination would be to consider the gator as a heavy favorite in the swamp however you should remember that Bengal tigers LOVE to swim! Bottom-line both predators are dangerous and should be careful when facing each other. "

Any other professors who are kind enough to reply to my massive email assault will be quoted here.

Many thanks to all of you.

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