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Alligator

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Alligator
Alligator.jpg
Scientific Classification
Species

796px-Gator34.jpg

The Alligator is a large predatory reptile belonging to the taxonomic genus in the family Alligatoridae. These cold-blooded animals are approximately five million strong in the southeastern states of America. A male can grow up to fourteen feet and weigh as much as 1,000 pounds. There are two main types of alligator species out there the American alligator and the Chinese Alligator. American Alligators live near swamps and lakes and small pools mainly in American states of Florida and Louisiana. While the Chinese Alligator can be found along the Yangtze River in China.[1]

Contents

Anatomy

The alligator has a U shaped mouth, it's upper jaw is bigger then its lower jaw, and the reason for that is it over laps the lower jaw.[2]

Alligators are very large in size, they can grow very big. They are semi-aquatic carnivorous reptiles with four legs and a huge tail. The tail can grow up to the size of the alligator’s body. It usually is all its life, this tail helps the alligator a lot it help it propel it through the water, they also use the tail during like the dry seasons to make gator holes for themselves so they can stay in the water when there is no water. The alligator can also use its tail as a weapon, to strike their prey. It can also store fat that can be used later by the alligator. The alligator is also cold blooded, so the way that it gets heat is it bakes itself in the sun. To regain its body temperature.[3]

There are 2 types of Alligator:

  • The American alligator, which grows up to 19 feet (3.5 m) long, and up to 600 pounds (270 kg).
  • The Chinese alligator, which grows to be about 6 feet long (1.8 m).[4]

Reproduction

The reproduction process starts when the alligator reaches a length of about 6 feet in length. Once the female has mated with a male, They both move to a marsh area and lay there eggs, and guard them from any type of prey that try’s and come and take their eggs, which they average about 45 eggs. The years before the alligator reaches 4 feet are it’s most dangerous, because they are prey to many other animals. After it is done waiting the alligator becomes the predator, and can reach up to 14 feet long, and weigh over 1,000 pounds. [5]

Alligators lay about 40-45 eggs on an average that they lay eggs. The time it takes for the eggs to hatch is 65 days, Baby hatchlings. The hatchlings use their egg tooth to get out of the eggs, the baby picks away the type of eggs. And then it keeps pushing out, till he has room to keep pulling away the shell pieces. Young alligators are about 6-8 inches when they are born. They young alligators don’t leave the protection of there mom for about 1.5 years. They spend so long to get use to the environment, and then after there 1.5 years with there mom they go out on their own and live in the wild. [6]

Ecology

Alligators live mostly in fresh water; they like the fresh water well, because they can catch more types of food/fish etc. in the fresh water. Alligators live in the United States and china, there are two types of them which are American alligator, and the Chinese Alligator. Alligators mostly like to live in swampy areas, for coverage of themselves tidal marshes, creeks and rivers, canals, ponds, lakes, and reservoirs. Some gators create gator holes when they inhabit a place to long they create these things called gator holes, they can range from the size of your backyard pool. Using their snout, forefeet, and tail. Alligators are called a key species due to the strong influence they have on other species. Females are found in the open waters during breeding season, but once mating season comes they return to the marsh lands. [7]

Females, when they go into mating season the make a nest for there eggs made of from vegetation, leaf litter, and mud. In June and July females lay 20-60 eggs in the nest and Cover them with additional vegetation and debris. The temperature of the nest must be below 87.8oF (31C) or the eggs could die from the weather. [8]

Behavior

The male alligator is very solitary, territorial animals, smaller alligators where smaller, so they tend to more in groups. Alligators are more carnivorous reptiles; they are random feeders they will eat sometimes what is right in front of them. Very small alligators tend to eat much smaller animals like insects, snails and some other stuff. The larger alligators eat small fish, snakes and smaller mammals, and sometimes they eat smaller alligators, which is kind of weird.[9]

The alligator is easy provoked if they feel like you are a threat to them. They will attack you no matter how BIG or small you are. Alligators have a lifespan of about 30 to 35 years in the wild, and up to 50 years in captivity. To define territory, as distress signals (babies grunt to alert the mother when in danger) [10]

Gallary

File:Chinese alligator3.jpg|Chinese alligator
(A. sinensis)
Genus: Alligator Image:Yacare Caiman.JPG|Caiman
(C. yacare)
Genus: Caiman

References

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