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Alligators
American Alligator
American Alligator
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Crocodilia
Family: Alligatoridae
Genus: Alligator
Daudin, 1809
Species
Alligator mississippiensis
Alligator sinensis
An alligator is a crocodilian in the genus Alligator of the family Alligatoridae. There are two living alligator species: the American Alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) and the Chinese Alligator (Alligator sinensis). They are closely related to crocodiles.
Alligators live in freshwater environments, such as ponds, marshes, wetlands, rivers, and swamps. Although alligators have heavy bodies and slow metabolisms, they are capable of short bursts of speed that can exceed 30 miles per hour. Alligators' main prey are smaller animals that they can kill and eat with a single bite. Alligators may kill larger prey by grabbing it and dragging it in the water to drown. Alligators consume food that cannot be eaten in one bite; the remains are either allowed to rot or are rendered by biting and then spinning or convulsing wildly until bite size pieces are torn off.Alligators are solitary, territorial animals. The largest of the species (both males and females), will defend prime territory; smaller alligators have a higher tolerance of other alligators within a similar size class.Alligators are seasonal breeders. The mating season is in spring when the water warms. The female builds a nest of vegetation that rots, incubating the eggs. The mother will defend the nest from predators and will assist the babies to water once they hatch. She will provide protection to the young for about a year if they remain in the area.
Alligator being challenged
Alligator being challenged
Alligators are characterized by a broader snout and eyes more dorsally located than their crocodile cousins. Both living species also tend to be darker in colour, often nearly black (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), though many animals bear jaw deformities which complicate this means of identification.
alligator en Louisiane
alligator en Louisiane



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.
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