Subscribe Via Email Our daily news delivered directly to your inbox! Wildlife Resources Commission reminds the public that alligators can become a nuisance when people either intentionally or unintentionally feed them, which causes them to associate humans with an easy meal. To keep from unintentionally attracting alligators, people should not feed other animals—including ducks, geese, fish or turtles—in waters where alligators live. Also, anglers should always take their fish scraps with them or dispose of them in a trash receptacle rather than throwing them in the water.
Interesting Facts about the American Alligator AnimalSake Staff Sep 30, The American alligator is one of the largest reptiles of the world, and is mainly found in the sub-tropical regions of the Southeastern United States.
The American alligator, also known as Mississippi alligator or Alligator mississippiensis belongs to the family Alligatoridae.
It is one of the two living species of alligators found in the world. The other alligator is the Chinese alligator or Alligator sinensis.
The word alligator is derived from the Spanish 'el lagarto', which means lizard. According to estimates, this species is more than million years old, and was the contemporary of dinosaurs, which became extinct almost 65 million years ago.
This alligator is largely found in freshwater habitats, like swamps, rivers, lakes, and marshes of the Southeastern United States.
It received the title of Official State Reptile of Florida in It is also the mascot of the University of Florida. Physical Appearance The average male alligator grows to a length of 3. The American alligator has a large, slightly rounded body, covered with coarse scales.
Its head is large with striking eyes and nostrils, and powerful jaws with pointed teeth. The huge tail accounts for nearly half of its length, which is used by this giant reptile to float in water and defend itself from other animals. The color of the skin is generally olive, brown, gray, or nearly black, but the ventral surface is usually pale.
The skin of the young alligators known as hatchlings is typically black with yellow stripes. Food and Habitat Alligators are carnivores, and they mainly eat fish, birds, snakes, mammals, turtles, and sometimes dead animals. Hatchlings or young alligators mainly feed on insects, tadpoles, frogs, and small fish.
Like any other alligator, the American alligator is a freshwater animal, and it thrives in wetlands like swamps, marshes, bogs, lakes, and rivers.
However, this alligator can withstand saline water to an extent and hence, it can be seen near brackish water bodies like mangrove swamps at times. But still, wetlands are crucial for the survival of this alligator.
It constructs burrows in the wetlands for shelter, where it hibernates during winter. Reproduction It attains sexual maturity at the age of 8 to 13 years. Spring April and May is the time when alligators mate. The male alligator attracts the female by bellowing. An interesting fact about this alligator is that it uses infrasound for this purpose.
As alligators do not have vocal cords, they suck in air into the lungs and then blow it out at intervals for making their characteristic low rumbling roars. The average number of eggs laid by a female alligator vary between 25 to After mating, the alligators build nests by using vegetation, mud, and leaves.
After laying the eggs in the nests, the mother alligators cover them with mulch, which helps keep the eggs warm and facilitate their hatching.
The sex of the young alligators depends on the temperature at which the eggs are hatched. Intermediate temperature ranges are found to produce a mix of male and female alligators.
The young alligators are generally 6 to 8 inches in length, and they become independent almost immediately.The government took measures, like declaring alligator hunting illegal and creating large commercial farms for alligator breeding, in order to protect this reptile.
These measures have succeeded in protecting the American alligator from extinction, and increasing its population. Jul 04, · The majority of American alligators inhabit Florida and Louisiana, with over a million alligators in each s tate.
American alligators live in freshwater environments, such as ponds, marshes, wetlands, rivers, lakes, and swamps, as well as brackish environments. Southern Florida is the only place where both alligators and crocodiles live side by side.
The American alligator When hunting terrestrial prey, American alligators may also ambush them from the edge of the water by grabbing them and pulling the prey into the water, which encourages them to disperse. Young American alligators grow 3–8 in (– cm) a year and reach adulthood at 6 ft ( m).
Kingdom: Animalia. The American alligator is a black reptile that can reach lengths of feet ( meters) and a weight in excess of 1, lbs ( kilograms) (Florida Museum of Natural History, n.d.).
A special feature of the alligator is its nostrils. The American alligator, Alligator mississippiensi, is the largest reptile in North America.
It has a large, dark (usually black), slightly rounded body and thick limbs. It has a large, dark (usually black), slightly rounded body and thick limbs.
May 07, · By following a few simple safety tips, the public can help keep them that way and prevent conflicts between their pets and wild alligators,” said Alicia Davis, the Commission’s alligator .