Dear Mr. & Mrs. Reed,
I found your site while trying to research
information on wild alligators and was very impressed with your
experience. While I was unable to find the answers I was looking
for, I wondered if you might be able to help provide some information
about an alligator skull I found recently (submerged in 2' of water)
in SW Florida. I did not want to damage the skull, so I've done
nothing but bleach and clean it (and the teeth) and paint a
protective coating of white glue and water on it. Nature had already
reduced the tissue down to the bone by the time I found it.
Here are some pictures for you so you can
see it's massive size. Here are the measurements I took:
27" from longest point to longest point when
measured with the top and bottom jaw fitted together
15" from mid eye to mid nostril
13" across the widest part of the head
8" across the nose
3.5" canine with a 3"
7.75" from tip to tip of the upper
this must have been some gigantic creature,
and I would love to know as much as possible about it.
WOW !!!! What a monster you have there.
This is a gator that would have been some 15 foot plus in length and at
least 15 years old. The time line is standard due to the length . They
grow about 12'' per year. The length for the center of the eyes to the
center of the nostril will give you the length and age of the gator.
This was in the water less than a year as
there isn't 100% coloration showing on the entire bone structure.
You have done a wonderful job of cleaning
it and there really isn't anything else to coat it with that over time
won't turn it yellow. As you handle it the oil from your body will cause
it to yellow. So, about once a year, just soak it in household bleach
for about three hours , then soak it for 6 hours in cold water. This
will stop the bleach.
The holes and cracks that you have
described are normal,as there are 9 different plates making up the top
skull, and the holes are part of the nasal system. From what I can tell
this is a very good skull and would retail for about $800. and the
wholesale price to a dealer would be half that.
I hope this helps you with filling in the
blanks as to what you have there.
Thank you so much for getting back to me, and
so quickly! Wow! I guess I was right...this was a monster. It's
great to know more about him! Actually, from what I now read on
the Florida Fish and Wildlife Web Site, this may be one of the largest
alligators ever found in Florida! Here's a quote from their
alligators rarely exceed 9 feet in length, but males can grow much larger.
The Florida state record
for length is a 14 foot 5/8
inch male from Lake Monroe in Seminole County. The Florida record for
weight is a 1,043 pound (13 feet 10 1/2 inches long) male from Orange Lake
in Alachua County. FWC biologists have published an article on the
maximum size of the alligator.
Roger (as we've named him) has become a part
of our family and people are always impressed with him. Now
when people want to touch him to see if he's real (and they ALWAYS do!),