Alligators have an "armored" body with a very strong flat tail. The alligator’s skin, on the back, is armored with bony plates, which acts as steel plating to protect the alligator from predators, other alligators and even humans that may be hunting them. More
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Children's Books, Animals, Reptiles & Amphibians, Science & Math, Nature & Ecology, Endangered Species, Children's eBooks, Animals, Reptiles & Amphibians
The largest recorded alligator is 19 feet long while the crocodile has been reported up to 28 feet long.
Length: Up to 28 feet; females are smaller. Weight: 450-1000 lbs.; females are smaller.
Lifespan: 35-50 years in the wild; 60-80 years in captivity.
The alligator is one of the best known of North American animals. The American alligator was first classified by French zoologist François Marie Daudin as Crocodilus mississipiensis in 1801. The most popular reptile in America, the iconic United States alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) is regarded as a living fossil; having survived that has been known in similar physical forms for over 200 million years.
The name "alligator" is a corruption of the Spanish "El Legarto," which means "the lizard." This term is still applied in some Spanish American countries to the crocodiles and caimans. The American alligator is an excellent example of the group of reptiles known technically as the Crocodilia.
Nevertheless, often baffled with the variety of crocodile genus, the United States alligator may be distinguished by means of its rounded snout, and by the point that when the actual jaws tend to be closed, none with the lower teeth are visible. Their body is armored using thick skin scales, and possesses an extended, powerful tail, which intimidates many would-be predators and serves an additional weapon in the alligator defense arsenal. They typically have tough limbs using webbed feet, which can aid this specific species with the movement through water.
The face and snout are positioned on the top of your head, enabling the actual American alligator to breathe while quietly watching for prey, while the rest of their body can be submerged. This concealment can be further enhanced by the coloration with the body, and their uniform black color or olive-brown skin of adults, with younger specimens having yellow banding over the body and tail. The American alligator’s oral cavity (Jaws of Fury) contain between 74 and 80 extremely sharp, conical teeth, and are capable of delivering substantial bite damage.
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