Woman stunned to find 9ft alligator with missing jaw in bizarre encounter
Wild animals often struggle to cope with serious injuries, and rarely survive for long but deep in the Florida Everglades, a nine-foot long alligator has been spotted that seems to be doing well despite having only half a jaw.
Facebook user Stacey Lynette posted photos showing the seriously-injured reptile swimming around happily in the murky swampland, despite a sizeable chunk of its upper jaw having been torn off.
"I saw this gator far away and he looked weird to me," she wrote in the post. "I grabbed my camera and sure as s**t, the whole end of his top jaw is missing. The photo quality is c**p because he was really far away. By the looks of him, he's doing alright though."
It’s unknown whether the alligator lost its upper jaw in a fight or in some other accident.
Alligators can be aggressive, especially during the mating season. It’s not unknown for males to lose an eye, or even a limb in territorial disputes.
Many reptiles show a remarkable ability to regrow body parts after being injured.
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Alligators have been known to regrow sections of their tails after they’ve been severed, although the replacements tend to lack the bone structure of the originals.
Adam Rosenblatt, a biologist at the University of North Florida, says “Alligators are really resilient. They are built to withstand damage at an immune system level and at a physical level.”
Sadly, the injured alligator in Stacey’s photo is unlikely to regrow its entire jaw, but it does appear to be getting by despite losing a sizeable part of its fearsome 3,000 PSI bite.
Mr. Stubbs, an American alligator that lost its tail several years ago while being illegally transported by a group of animal-traffickers, was given a 3D-printed replica of the missing appendage.
Justin Georgi, an associate professor of anatomy at Midwestern University in Gelandale, Arizona, collaborated with a local company called STAX3D to use an Artec 3D scanner to create a custom-made replica tail that enables Mr. Stubbs to swim almost as well as he could before his mishap..
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