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Alligator Science Facts

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How to draw an Alligator Step Six
Have Fun Drawing Alton The Alligator!

Alligators and People

Alligators are having a difficult time surviving due to environmental factor such as; Pollution, industrial and agricultural waste and sewage that is dumped into the streams, rivers and lakes where alligators live.

Alligators are loosing their habitat and to developers and agricultural farms, sometimes they even wander into developed areas, and even though they are only trying to find a new home and a place to live, they are wild animals and need to be respected, sometimes they are so hungry and desperate for food they knock over garbage cans for food.

The government and private industries have helped to bring back the american alligator to a thriving population and hopefully one day the Chinese alligator may also thrive since there are only approximately 140-200 in the wild.

The Chinese crocodile is legally protected by the Law of Wildlife Conservation of the People's Republic of China. Many of the reserves in which they remain are also protected. 

Even Though Alligators Are King of the Swamp,

American alligators once faced extinction. The United States Fish and Wildlife Service placed them on the endangered species list in 1967. Fortunately, the legal protection worked. Just 20 years later, American alligators were taken off the list.

Alligators have been around for 18 million years, and they have hardly changed. With its camouflage outer hide, it makes it easy for the alligator to creep up on its prey. It floats underwater or on the surface with just its eyes peeking out. Alligators float on the surface of the water and can easily be mistaken for logs by unsuspecting prey. Prey are animals that the alligator eats to survive.





While the alligator east frogs, fish, turtles, rats, and sometimes even larger prey like raccoons or deer. Alligators also rely on their keen eyesight which is sharp, and they float on the surface with just their eyes above the water level. The alligator is special because it has two different sets of eyelids.
Even if its dark the alligator can see its prey with its eyes closed, due to special eyelids that have a membrane that admits light.

Brought back from the brink of extinction, over a million of these reptiles survive today. Now the main threat to alligators is habitat destruction, caused by such human activities as draining and developing wetlands.

American alligators live in the wild in the southeastern United States. You're most likely to spot them in Florida and Louisiana, where they live in rivers, lakes, ponds, swamps, bayous, and marshes. These reptiles are kind of clumsy on land, but they're built for life in the water. Great swimmers, they are equipped with webbed feet and strong tails that propel them through the water.

An average male American alligator is 10 to 15 feet (three to five meters) long. Half of its length is its massive, strong tail. An alligator can weigh as much as half a ton (1,000 pounds), but an average male weighs between 500 and 600 pounds (227 to 272 kilograms). Females are usually smaller than males.

As big and ferocious as the female alligator may look, she is a gentle mother. A mother alligator makes a nest on shore, where she lays her eggs. Then she guards her eggs until they're ready to hatch. At that point the babies start to make noises, and their mother hears her little ones' peeps as they break out of the eggs. She gently carries them—in her mouth—to the water nearby.

Newly hatched young are only about six to eight inches (15 to 20 centimeters) long, and very vulnerable. Their mother protects them from predators, which include raccoons, bobcats, birds, and even other alligators. The young alligators stay with their mother for up to two years. After that, they're able to fend for themselves.

Scientific reference:
Catherine D. Hughes Kids National Geographic
Alligators by Steven Otfinoski



Alligator Science FACTS
Alligators are members of an order of animals called crocodilians. Crocodilians include alligators, crocodiles, caimans, and gharials.
Alligators are reptiles, a group of animals that includes snakes, lizards, and turtles.

The scientific name of the American alligator is Alligator mississippiensis.
In the wild, an American alligator generally lives to be 35 to 50 years old. Alligators can live longer—for 60 to 80 years—in captivity.

A group of alligators is called a congregation.

Fish, turtles, snakes, and small mammals (sometimes even pets) are all on an alligator's favorite menu. They'll eat just about any meat—including animals that are already dead.

American alligators are the largest reptiles in North America. They live in Florida, Louisiana, southern Texas, as well as parts of Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina, and South Carolina.

A quick way to tell the difference between an alligator and a crocodile is to look at them when their mouths are closed. If only the upper teeth show, it's an alligator. If both upper and lower teeth show, it's a crocodile.

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How to draw an Alligator Step Six

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