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American Alligator

American alligator

American alligator (Alligator mississipiensis), is one of the largest reptile, which belongs to the family of Alligatoridae. There are only two living species of alligator in the present time. One is American alligator and the other is Chinese alligator. The American alligator has its existence since last 150 million years. The American alligators are about (8 to 9) inches long at the time of birth. In adult, these alligators grow up to a size of (13 to 18 feet) and weigh up to (450 to 500) pounds. Their tail is quite longer and covers about half of its body length. Their tail helps them in locomotion while moving in water. American alligators are black when they grow as an adult while the younger ones have vertical yellow bands until the age of (3 to 4) years. They have strong jaw, which consist of (70 to 80) pointed teeth of white color, which are almost similar in shape. The American alligators are mainly found in fresh water. These creatures can be found in rivers, lakes, ponds, canals, etc. They are the sole inhabitants of the United States and found in the areas like Florida, Louisiana, Georgia and Texas.

Feeding Habits
The American alligators are often found alone. These alligators feed on whatever they get through their hunt. The main food of these alligator is marine fish, while they also feed on frogs, snails, snakes, turtles, birds, crabs, etc. Sometimes they feed even on the dead animals. They swallow their food completely if the prey is small, and if it is big, it will bite and cut it into pieces with the help of its jaw and teeth, and then swallow it. These species are cold-blooded and thus they need less food in order to survive.

Reproduction / Breeding
These creatures show some surprising behavior in order to attract the female such as bellowing, circling, back-rubbing, etc. They also make a vocal call and the sound of the call resembles very much to that of lions roar. The breeding season in these species is mainly April or May. The female of these species can lay up to (25 to 60) eggs. These eggs hatch in around nine weeks. One more interesting fact about these alligators is that if their eggs hatch at a temperature of (90 to 93) degree Fahrenheit it will turn into a male, and if it hatches at a temperature of (82 to 86) degree Fahrenheit, then it will turn into a female. The young alligators are found to be (6 to 8) inches in length and live up to two years with their mother for safety. The life span of an American alligator is about (30 to 50) years.

reproduction in american alligator

Conservation
American alligators were hunted mainly for their flesh and skin. Their skin was used to make leather. Once, these species were struggling for their survival. However, in the present scenario it is not in the endangered list as the government has taken necessary steps like declaring its hunting as unlawful and creating big commercial farms.