Alligators are easily one of the most ruthless animals on the planet – just cold-blooded killing machines in the most literal sense. While many of the most savage predators on earth have an innate respect for their own species, gators, on the other hand, are one of the most cannibalistic animals out there.
The “small” gator getting snacked on this video was reportedly about 6-feet long, which really puts the sheer power and size of gators into perspective. According toLiveScience, the fate of this little gator isn’t all that unusual though, as research indicates larger gators will eat roughly 6-7% of juvenile alligators in their area.
Though the idea of big gators eating little gators may seem brutal, there is believed to be some ecological value associated with the cannibalistic tendencies of the species.
Research from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission suggests that cannibalism is essential for keeping populations stable. Gators are opportunistic feeders and will eat pretty much anything they can get their jaws on. The large gators at the top of the food chain help keep the gator population within the ecological carrying capacity of their habitats. In instances where alligator numbers begin to trend towards overpopulation, large gators may eat as many as 15% of small gators to keep those numbers in check.
Despite gators eating gators being a somewhat common occurrence, it is rarely captured on camera because most of it presumably takes place underwater. However, footage of an absolute unit of a gator eating a small gator in the low country of South Carolina has been generating a buzz recently. The video has already racked up more than 4.6 million views.
“This happened in my parents backyard today… The snack is a 6ft gator #lowcountrylivin“