American Alligator

Classification

CLASS: Reptilia
ORDER: Crocodilia
FAMILY: Alligatoridae
GENUS: Alligator
SPECIES: A. mississippiensis

habitat & Range

This semi-aquatic species inhabits wetland and marsh habitats.

Did you know?

  • During the breeding season, male alligators will make loud and deep bellows to attract mates.
  • When an alligator loses a tooth, they can regrow that tooth as many times as they need.
  • Baby alligators emit a chirping sound to alert their mother when they are in danger or lost.
North American River Otter

Form & Function

Adult alligators range from 6 to 14 feet in length and are mostly black in color, whereas juveniles have yellow bands on the back. They have broad snouts, thick limbs, and a body covered in scales, along with a large tail that they use to propel through the water. As ectotherms (meaning they rely on external sources of heat) alligators need to maintain stable temperatures. During extreme temperature conditions, they experience periods of dormancy which they ride out in gator holes that they dig for protection against extreme weather.

Conservation & YOu

Least concern (IUCN) The American Alligator was listed as endangered in the mid 20th century, but strict regulations have allowed for a full recovery of this species. You can help protect the American alligator by following your states laws and regulations for alligator hunting.
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