Do Alligators & Crocodiles Communicate? Why, How, When

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Do Alligators & Crocodiles Communicate? Why, How, When

How frequently do you communicate with friends and family?. Without communication, humans cannot conceptualize their world. 

Alligators and crocs also communicate, but not how we humans do. These large reptiles communicate using audible infrasound and loud hissing and chirping.

Crocodilian reptiles communicate via different types of sounds, including the following.

  • Mating sounds
  • Hissing
  • Chirping
  • Bellowing
  • Whining noises
  • Yelping
  • Infrasonic booms
  • Coughing sounds, etc.

This post will examine the communication methods used by alligators and crocodiles. This article will also walk you through the why, how, and when.

How do alligators communicate?

Gator hatchlings begin chirping as soon as they are born. Their verbal communication also tends to lean more toward hissing, rumbling, and bellowing as they get older and more developed. In actuality, crocodilians communicate with one another through a sophisticated sound system.

Alligators’ vocal organs are remarkably similar to human vocal organs. They also have voice folds and a larynx. But further research is needed because it is unclear how they produce sound.

How do alligators communicate in water?

On avian reptiles, alligators are believed to be the most vocal. They can produce different ‌sounds on both land and water. Here, we’ll look at their aquatic communication methods.

An alligator mostly slaps the water to communicate in the aquatic environment. This behavior was regularly observed during the mating season when the male alligator slapped on the water to signal the female. In water, sound travels more quickly. Therefore, this method aids male gators in quickly attracting females.

On land and in the water, alligators also communicate by hissing. They can make this sound with both open and closed jaws. It’s noteworthy that alligators can respond to sounds in the range of 100 to 2,000 Hz in water in this context.

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How do alligators communicate with each other?

They communicate with one another by making different vocalizations and body motions. For instance, during the mating season, alligators slap in the water, do a water dance, and bellow at a low frequency. Other than this, they also yell and whines. However, infrasonic sound production is reserved for male gators.

Why do alligators communicate?

A variety of factors can contribute to an alligator’s vocalization. For example, they use a variety of sounds to call mates, defend young, signal distress, show aggression, and other purposes.

We must recognize that alligator cries in this situation vary significantly depending on the species, age, gender, size, and intent. In actuality, crocodilians have around 20 different ways of exchanging messages through various noises.

When do alligators communicate in captivity?

One can hear an alligator’s voice in captivity, especially with their hatchlings and during the mating season. Also, baby gators are found to be communicating with their mother via hatching and distress calls. 

In fact, studies have revealed that gator hatchlings can actually begin calling while still in the egg, which continues immediately after their birth. 

When do alligators communicate with humans? 

Alligators do not chat with humans. Although there have been cases where a gator and a human became friends, we cannot expect a friendly vocalization between them. Yet, alligators display a hissing sound when humans get too close to them. They use the sound as a threat to back out, or they will strike.

How do American alligators communicate?

Image Credit: Alligator by 500px (CC BY-SA 3.0)

American alligators are among the chattiest animals in the world.

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American alligators communicate in the same ways as other alligators. Both aerial and aquatic frequencies can be used for communication. Their frequency fluctuates between 100 Hz and 2,000 Hz in the water while rising to 8,000 Hz in the air. During the mating season, American alligators bellow at a low pitch frequency.

Baby American alligators’ frequency ranges from as high as 1 kHz to as low as 50 Hz. They use them to summon their mothers in times of trouble.

How do saltwater crocodiles communicate?

The world’s largest reptiles, the salties, are typically found to communicate by barking. Salties also vocalize via four different calls, including the following:

  • High-pitched distress call- Performed mainly by juvenile salties
  • Hissing sound- When facing intruders
  • Hatching call- By new-born
  • Low growl- During the mating season

Summary

Crocodiles and alligators are both apex predators. To survive and attain the title of “apex predators,” they have developed a variety of superior senses, among which is the capacity for communication. The following time you visit a crocodile, listen to see if you can hear any sounds. 

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