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American Alligator

Animals Home > Reptiles
American Alligators are typically found in freshwater marshes and swamps. Although, these reptiles have also been known to live in rivers and small lakes.
  American Alligator Picture
Description Pictures    


Latin Name: Alligator mississippiensis Conservation Status: Secure
Distribution: Southeastern United States Estimated Size: 13 to 14 feet.

There are only two species of alligators in the world today, the Chinese Alligator and the American Alligator. The American Alligator has a very small range that encompases the southeastern portion of the United States. It prefers swamps and bogs that it can hide out in and this is the only place in North America where these can be found.

The skin on the back of these alligators is made up of 'scutes' which are actually bony plates. Amercan Alligators' nostrils are on the top of their snout. That way almost their entire body can be under water and they will still be able to breath. Juvenile American Alligators have yellowish strips on their tail. As they grow older these strips turn a dark color.

The tail of the American Alligator is incredibly strong and is actually used in defense of itself if it feels threatened. Usually when humans see Alligators they are lumbering across land and appear to be moving very slow. This is because their small feet are not well adapted for walking on land. They are however excellent swimmers and use this ability to catch their prey.


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