Alligators are large lizard-like reptiles. Their backs range in color from dark green to black while their stomachs are typically white. Alligators have eyes on top of their heads and nostrils on the top of their snouts which enables them to see and breath out of water while not exposing any portion of the rest of their body.have an "armored" body with a muscular flat tail. The skin on the back is armored with embedded bony plates called osteoderms or scutes. They have four short legs; the front legs have five toes while the back legs have four toes.
Here to See American Alligator Pictures
Up to 1100 lbs.
Southeastern US from Oklahoma to the Carolinas and south through Florida.
Juveniles eat insects, invertebrates, fish, and frogs. Adults are carnivorous eating mammals, birds, fish, and turtles.
Alligator females will typically build a nest near water where she will deposit 30-50 eggs. She will bury the nest with vegetation and mud which raise 2-3 feet above ground level. She will guard the nest through the 60-day gestation period and aid the hatchlings with breaking out of the nest. Hatchlings will form social groups called "pods" and remain with the mother for up to a year after birth.
Gators make a large, exhaling sound when threatened. A low gutteral bellow is also made as a mating and territorial call.
Relationship with Humans
Alligators were threatened in the early 20th century due to over hunting and habitat loss. In 1967 alligators were listed as endangered. In 1987 through conservation efforts the alligator was demoted from endangered to "species of concern". Alligators are estimated to number more than 1 million in Florida by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.