FEB 11, 2017 11:09 AM PST

Where'd That Orange Alligator Come From?

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

Experts and residents alike from Hanahan, South Carolina are confused as to why this alligator specimen seems to be exhibiting an orange/rusty body color, something not commonly seen in the species as a whole.

Image Credit: Leroy Burnell/The Post & Courier/AP

Its unique properties have given the alligator quite the attention across social media this week, turning heads from animal experts and animal lovers around the world. All in good fun, it has jokingly been nicknamed “Trimpigator” by the locals as a result of its unique skin tone.

Residents say that the nearly 5-foot alligator has been spotted a myriad of times near a retention pond in the area, but it’s not well understood how it came to become this color. Most alligators are of a green/brown mix in terms of body color.

Some experts believe that environmental factors could have played a role in its unique color. For example, the water that the alligator resides in could be contaminated with a certain kind of algae or chemical pollution that is ‘dying’ the alligator’s skin.

Another explanation could be that the alligator was hiding inside of a steel culvert during the winter, and rust oxide from the steel could have infused with the animal’s skin tissue.

Experts also think that when the alligator inevitably sheds its skin in the future, the strange color could become a thing of the past. It’s always possible, however, that the coloration is more than just one layer deep.

It’s not every day that an alligator of this color gets spotted, but it’s not the only time this has ever happened. Citing Live Science, there was reportedly once a similar mystery enveloping an alligator in Venice, Florida.

It’s probably likely that we will continue to see oddities in alligators in the future, considering that the world is full of surprises; but will they always be orange? – Only time will tell.

Source: Live Science, USA Today

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
DEC 13, 2019
Health & Medicine
DEC 13, 2019
Mandatory Warning Labels for California Cannabis Products, Unsafe for Mothers-to-be
As the first state to legalize medical marijuana, California is to date one of the largest cannabis markets in the United States. A nine-member panel of sc...
JAN 07, 2020
Microbiology
JAN 07, 2020
The Unusual Microbiomes of Bats and Birds
Humans might have a critical dependence on the microbes in their guts, but it seems that not all animals do....
JAN 20, 2020
Plants & Animals
JAN 20, 2020
Horned Lizards Do Anything to Protect Their Eggs From Predators
When a female horned lizard lays her eggs, she finds herself up against several predators that want to devour them. Fortunately, the female horned lizard d...
FEB 18, 2020
Plants & Animals
FEB 18, 2020
This Wasp Turns Cockroaches Into Zombies for its Larvae
We can’t think of anyone that likes cockroaches, but one insect in particular seems to scout them out specifically for its own bizarre reasons. The e...
FEB 22, 2020
Genetics & Genomics
FEB 22, 2020
46,000-Year-Old Bird Recovered From Siberian Permafrost
In 2018 in a place called Belaya Gora in northeastern Siberia, a frozen bird was found in the ground. A sample of DNA was recovered from the bird....
FEB 23, 2020
Plants & Animals
FEB 23, 2020
These Sharks Stay Warm on Deep Dives, But How?
It’s no secret that ocean waters become substantially colder as you venture further beneath the surface; this is because the Sun’s rays can onl...
Loading Comments...