These three Mississippi huntsmen discovered something very odd with the enormous gator they had killed. In the gator’s tail was lodged small pellets.
When they investigated further these metal pellets looked to actually be musket balls. They had been lodged deep under scar tissue, near the animal’s tail. Curious to what they really were, they sent off the objects to researchers who tested the metal. Indeed, they were musket balls. But even more shocking, they must have been fired over 150 years ago! They did a number of matallurgical tests to verify that the ammo was the real deal. It was most likely shot by an Enfield pattern 1853 rifle-musket. And it was likely fired by Confederate troops near the start of the American Civil War!
So how old does this make the gator? Scientists figure it to be around 185-years-old! Totally unprecedented as most American alligators live about 80 years. Other reptiles indeed have lived past 150, but it’s totally rare to come across this old of a gator, especially one that also happened to be one of the biggest gators ever as it clocked in at a whopping 910 pounds! Crazy!