This may seem like a ‘no-brainer,’ but some who are bitten by smaller crocodilians think that mere first-aid is enough to treat the wound. An immediate concern following a bite is the effect of bacteria, which a ‘gator mouth is teeming with. These bacteria, Aeronomus hybrophila among them, can enter the bloodstream through the bite and cause an infection so serious that it can result in the victim’s death. (One study found 38 species of bacteria and 20 species of fungi in the alligator mouth!)A serious hand wound.
The bacteria isn’t the only issue– there’s also the ‘gator’s infamous crushing power. The American Alligator and its crocodile cousins have the greatest known bite forces on Earth (a large alligator’s jaw pressure can be at least five times that of a large lion – nearly 3000 psi). The reptile’s jaws can crush muscle and bone, in addition to cutting and tearing.