Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Alligator (Alligator mississippiensis)

Alligator (Alligator mississippiensis)High Resolution Image File size: 1.48 MB. Format: JPEG image (image/jpeg) Dimensions: Screen: 3658px x 2400px. Print: 12.19 x 8.00 inches. Resolution: 300 dpi (high, print quality) Depth: Full Color

Primary Metadata. Title: Alligator. Alternative Title: (Alligator mississippiensis) Creator: Bailey, Dick
Source: WO2953Highlights. Publisher: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Contributor DIVISION OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS. Language: EN - ENGLISH, Rights: (public domain) Audience: (general) Subject: reptile.

Alligator From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

An alligator is a crocodilian in the genus Alligator of the family Alligatoridae. The name alligator is an anglicized form of the Spanish el lagarto ("the lizard"), the name by which early Spanish explorers and settlers in Florida called the alligator. There are two living alligator species: the American Alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) and the Chinese Alligator (Alligator sinensis).

Alligators are characterized by a wider snout than crocodiles. Both living species also tend to be darker in color, often nearly black but color is very dependent on the water. Algae-laden waters produce greener alligators; alligators from waters with a lot of tannic acid from overhanging trees are often darker (although the Chinese alligator has some light patterning.) Also, in alligators only the upper teeth can be seen with the jaws closed, in contrast to true crocodiles, in which upper and lower teeth can be seen. However, many individuals bear jaw deformities which complicate this means of identification.

The eyes of a large alligator will glow red and those of a smaller one will glow green when a light is shined on them. This fact can be used to find alligators in the dark.

An average American alligator's weight and length is 800 lbs (360 kg) and 13 feet (4 m) long. According to the Everglades National Park website, the largest alligator ever recorded in Florida was 17 feet 5 inches long (5.3 m). The largest alligator ever recorded in Alabama measured 12 feet 10 inches (3.7 m). The largest alligator ever recorded measured 19 feet 2 inches (5.8 m) and was found on Marsh Island, Louisiana. Few of the giant specimens were weighed, but the larger ones could have exceeded a ton in weight. The Chinese Alligator is smaller, rarely exceeding 7 feet (2 m) in length.

An alligator's lifespan is usually estimated in the range of 50 years or more. A specimen named Muja has resided in the Belgrade Zoo in Serbia since 1937, making it at least 70 years old. Another specimen, Čabulītis, in Riga Zoo, Latvia died in 2007 being more than 72 years old.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article, Alligator

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