Like all creatures in nature, alligators are wonderfully designed for their role. Alligators have a suit of armor consisting of bony plates on their backs. Their muscular tail, almost as long as their body, helps them swim and is a powerful weapon. Their short legs powerfully propel them on land, allowing for short bursts of exceptional speed. Alligators have excellent eyesight that allows them to see in dim light and a third transparent eyelid that works like underwater goggles. They can close off their nostrils and slow their metabolism so they can stay underwater for more than an hour! Not known for their manners, alligators don't chew their food, but merely chomp with their powerful jaws and swallow prey whole. Alligators are truly a beautiful and majestic creature of the marsh deserving respect and appreciation for their many benefits. If you are traveling as a family, see who can spot the biggest, smallest, and most alligators on your trip.