Alligator Essay

865 Words 4 Pages
The American alligator is a native to the Florida Everglades. The American alligator is an apex predator in the Everglades. It is also the keystone species in the Everglades. BEing a keystone species it 's the first species that will notices signs of changes to the environment. Going to take a look into the life of the American alligator.
The American alligator was “first classified by French zoologist Francois Marie Daudin a Crocodilus mississippiensis in 1801” (“American Alligator”)”. It was not till 1807 when George Cuvier constructed the genus Alligator. It shares the genus with the Chinese alligator (“American Alligator”). They are associated with the family Alligatoridae with the caimans. This family also includes all crocodilians
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They are “restricted to the Coastal Plain, includes the Central Savannah River Area of Georgia and South Carolina” (“American Alligator (Alligator Mississippiensis)”). Alligator’s are found in swampy areas, river, streams, lake and ponds. Females and juveniles use seasonal wetlands, example Carolina Bays. Alligator’s are found in freshwater and also brackish salt water. On the Savannah River site, alligator are abundant in the Savannah River, it 's swamp and tributaries, L-Lakes, Par Pond and other reservoirs on the site (“American Alligator (Alligator Mississippiensis)”). “The Alligator’s can only tolerate salt water for limited of time because they do not have salt glands (Schechter and Street). The max of American alligators are found in Florida and Louisiana. In recent years the range of the alligator has been increasing …show more content…
THey are opportunists and their diet is based largely on both their size and age of the alligator and the size and availability of prey. Alligators will eat a variety of animals. Adults eat invertebrates, fish, birds, turtles, snakes, amphibians, and mammals. “Young or juveniles feed on small fish and aquatic invertebrates, but in turn, they can be food for raccoons, crabs, large snakes, turtles, various types of wading birds and even fish” (“American Alligator (Alligator Mississippiensis)”). Any animal living in the water or coming to the water to drink is a potential prey, due to the size and power of the alligator. Occasionally, alligators may eat deer, feral wild boars, dogs and cats. Herons, egrets, storks, waterfowl, large dabbling rails are also been eaten. Reasons are first flights, unwary adults, and unsteady fledgling birds. Fish are highly dominated in Central Florida lakes to adult alligators. Adult alligators spend time in water and on land. They have been found 50m from the water. Alligators are ectotherms they need to bask in the sun to retain their body heat. They are great multitaskers by hunting on land as well in the water. They ambush terrestrial animals on trails and roads. “Usually, terrestrial hunting occurs on nights with warm temperatures” (“American Alligator”). Also ambush from the water 's edge by grabbing and pulling prey under the water. The teeth of the alligator are designed to grip prey and are capable

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