Here"s the scary part: Gators deserve to get also bigger than this guy.

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one American alligator that took a stroll with Valencia Golf and also Club in Naples, Florida has captivated the web for one evident reason: He"s f
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HUGE FLORIDA GATOR! 🐊👀 Yep, this monster is real. Recorded on camera during Hurricane #Eta in Naples. Credit: Jeff Jones

🐊 You love badass beasts. So carry out we. Let"s nerd out over lock together.

Naturally, we had some questions when we very first laid eyes on this thing, so us fired "em turn off to gator guru James Nifong, a zoologist and also data management analyst at the university of Florida-Fort Lauderdale Research and Education Center.

To our disappointment, Nifong confirms the biology is not, in fact, a dinosaur. But to our surprise and also mild horror, he says this isn"t also the best gator he"s ever before seen.

"They have the right to grow even larger," Nifong tells Popular Mechanics. "The record length for alligators is simply shy the 15 feet—much larger than the alligator in the photo."

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Nifong doesn"t quite understand the specific size the the viral gator, yet reveals that gators actually never stop growing; the bigger lock are, the older they are. “Crocodilians (including alligators) display indeterminate growth and also keep cultivation throughout their entire life," the says. "So, because that an alligator to reach that size it must have lived because that a long time."

🐊 Gator: It"s What"s for Dinner





The catch, the course, is if an alligator wants to save growing, it"ll need accessibility to a ton of food. And though it looks favor our gator subsists top top a non-saw diet of burritos and also beer, one alligator"s food selection depends top top the food that"s available. A huge boy favor the one in the photo might consume mammals, birds, reptiles favor snakes and also turtles, fish, and sometimes also smaller prey, choose crayfish and snails.

Other determinants like gender influence growth rates, too. Mrs gators are typically the smaller sized sex, Nifong says.

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And why carry out gators love golf courses, as well as wanting to job-related on their quick game? Easy: "the diversity of aquatic habitats," he says. Golf courses almost always have actually water functions like ponds, which room "typically stocked through fish and offer good food resources."

So what perform you perform if you find yourself all of sudden staring under a gator, even if it is it be on a golf food or elsewhere?

Leave it alone, plain and simple. " are an effective animals that can pose a risk to humans, especially when they combine food v ," Nifong says. "This is why wild alligators have to never be fed. However, in general, alligators execute not desire anything to perform with humans and also will keep their distance.”

Alligators generally don’t give chase, but in the odd event you are being sought by one, “run far in a straight line,” that advises. Due to the fact that their bodies are designed to move easily over quick distances in small bursts, gators can’t really take trip too far or too fast while on land. “This makes them efficient ambush predators, but negative runners.”

And in the extremely unlikely case the you gain bitten by a gator and also dragged into water, shot to carefully poke the sucker in the eye and also swim away, says Nifong. "However," he says, "the best safeguard against being bitten by one alligator is come pay attention to your surroundings."

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