This Alligator Rethinks Life After Turtle Foils Its Plans

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Written by Alan Lemus

Updated: November 10, 2023

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Alligator eating
© Peter Aronson/
Key Points:
  • Alligators are apex predators in water and sometimes out of water — while basking in the sun, they can catch animals that may cross their path unawares, like the turtle in the below video.
  • The alligator has one of the most powerful bite force — 30 times more powerful than humans — but the turtle’s hard shell prevents it from being eaten by many animals.
  • Gators are preyed upon by humans, leopards, panthers, and large snakes.

An alligator fight is unwinnable for most animals. Alligators are among the most dangerous predators. They devour other creatures like birds, fish, and sometimes humans. In a battle between this apex predator and a turtle, chances are you’ll place your bet on the alligator.

But in this specific video, a turtle wins the battle. The alligator clamped its jaws around the turtle, trying to devour the innocent creature like a snack. 

Unfortunately, this giant reptile does not have the best times at this particular moment. As it repeatedly fumbles, trying to swallow the turtle, the prey gets an opportunity to slip out and slowly hops for safety. The turtle’s hard shell plays a significant role in rescuing it from the enemy. 

Alligators chew and swallow their prey without tearing them off. This incident looks like a disappointing one for this particular alligator. It sits on the grass with an empty stomach without following the turtle.

Since the video was shared on YouTube by HomeSharkTV, it has garnered more than one million likes and over 37,000 comments. One viewer said, “It’s the first time I see turtles running and jumping like that. Well done, turtles!” Another added, “I have never seen a turtle move that fast!!! Run like the wind, little buddy.”

Head-on view of large alligator

Research shows a 12-foot alligator’s bite is the same as the weight of a small pickup truck.


From this incident, we cannot conclude that alligators can’t crush the hard shells of turtles. Research shows that a 12-foot alligator’s bite is the same as the weight of a small pickup truck; hence they can break them.

Alligators Have Predators, Too!


Otters are just one of the many predators of small alligators in the wild.


Giant alligators are among the fiercest hunters. While they have powerful jaws, predators still prey upon them. Surprisingly, humans are one of their most dangerous predators. Other enemies include:

Large birds are also known to feast on small alligators. Wild pigs, otters, herons, and egrets also prey on baby alligators.

Juvenile alligators have a good share of enemies too. They are mainly targeted by big cats, raccoons, big fish, and large birds. Humans and big male alligators also prey on young alligators. Juvenile gators remain in the pond until they are four feet long for safety reasons.

Get to Know How Alligators Hunt


Alligators are skilled hunters that prefer to hunt in the water.

©Jim Schwabel/

The alligator’s integumentary sensory organs allow it to detect movements in the water. Additionally, their touch-sensitive receptors can capture and locate their prey.

An alligator is an ambush predator that mainly waits near the shoreline to attack its prey. Upon catching the prey, it bites it with its sharp teeth and drags it inside the water with its powerful jaws. 

Alligators are excellent hunters, and they can attack something almost every three hours. When they are underwater, they can hunt successfully. Alligators rarely attack when on land or kayaks.

Alligators use smart mechanisms to attack their prey. For example, research shows that these species use sticks and twigs to lure water birds into their traps. In the process of picking up the twigs for nesting material, the gators chomp at them.

Is This Normal Behavior for Alligators?

Turtles rarely fall prey to other animals. They have a natural protection in the form of their shell that can help them escape even one of the most powerful predators like alligators and even lions. Although that might be true, all species of turtles have been classified as Endangered.

There have been many instances where alligators have tried to crush the turtle shell after scooping them up with their long jaws, but had to let them go as the protective shell could not be crushed.

A close up portrait of an Eastern Box Turtle.

The turtle has a natural protection in the form of its shell that can help it escape many predators.

©Ray Hennessy/

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About the Author

Alan is a freelance writer and an avid traveler. He specializes in travel content. When he visits home he enjoys spending time with his family Rottie, Opie.

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