alligators are pretty nuts. they’ve been around for the last 37 million years — or about 185 times longer than us homo sapiens — and they can’t even regulate their own body temperature.
telling you this might ruin some of the thrill of the picture, but this gator isn’t readying itself for an attack — it’s just trying to keep cool. it can get pretty toasty laying in the FL sun all afternoon, so gators will open their mouths to catch the breeze and help cool down their core. pretty neat.
unfortunately i didn’t have a zoom lens when i was taking this picture, so i didn’t really have the opportunity to get a super close-up (i certainly wasn’t getting any closer than this, even knowing the open mouth wasn’t reflective of an attack stance…probably). that’s alright though, because i kind of enjoyed capturing the alligator in its habitat for this shot. i also enjoy having the cement in the foreground, as it provides some context for how familiar these creatures are with humans.