He’s being cleaned, not just pet, but judging by that big contented rumble you can hear, he’s quite enjoying it!

When you’re a prehistoric dinosaur and it’s scritches time

brushie brushie brushie 

It really is fascinating that basically every animal on earth that has some sort of skin integument enjoys a lil scratch. I mean it makes sense but like. Humans evolved from social grooming animals and we have perfect little grooming hands and basically everything on earth with scales, fur or feathers can basically be convinced to let us give them free back scratches. Humans don’t even get anything out of it other than the satisfaction of helping out. We’re just really good at it. What a useful creature to be put on a planet full of animals who can’t reach their backs.

That beastie is straight-up PURRING 💟💟💟

This is a REALLY GOOD example of an alligator who’s happy with his situation. As I’ve talked about distressed alligator behavior before, it’s worth it to point out how you can tell that this fella is absolutely pleased as punch to be having his back scratched.

  • Vocalization: Alligators are one of the most vocal reptile species. The noise he’s making is not a warning or sign of irritation; that kind of rumble is something they do when they’re happy. (You’ll hear it during courtship a lot!)
  • Notice that he settles right down when she starts brushing. If alligators don’t like something, the first thing they try to do is leave. But he does the opposite- he settles down in the grass and for lack of a better word, melts. See how at how a couple of seconds in, his hind leg goes back? He tucks it back in when he hits the keeper’s foot, but what he’s doing there is the start of the oh-so-scientifically named “sleepy feets.” He’s not just being still- he’s relaxing.
  • Look at how he keeps his eyes open, even when she’s brushing up near his head! Closed eyes can be a mixed bag with reptiles. Sometimes it means sleepy contentment; other times it means they’re desperately trying to block out visual stimulus. This guy is so used to this and enjoying it so much that he’s keeping his eyes open- which also shows how much he trusts that human. He knows those bristles aren’t going anywhere near his eyes.