Alligator Description and Habitats
Large adult American alligator’s weight and length is 800 pounds and 13 feet long, but can grow to 14.5 feet long and weigh over 1,000 pounds (450 kg).
The largest ever recorded was found in Louisiana and measured 19 feet 2 inches (5.84 m).
The Chinese alligator is smaller, rarely exceeding 7 feet in length. Alligators have an average of 75 teeth.
There is no measured average lifespan for an alligator. In 1937, a one year-old specimen was brought to the Belgrade Zoo in Serbia from Germany. It is now 76 years old. Another specimen, Čabulītis, in Riga Zoo, Latvia died in 2007 being more than 75 years old. There are Alligators of various ages in the Everglades National Park in Florida.
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Alligators are only native to the United States and China.
American alligators are found in the southeast United States: all of Florida and Louisiana, the southern parts of Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi, coastal South and North Carolina, Eastern Texas, the southeast corner of Oklahoma and the southern tip of Arkansas. According to the 2005 Scholastic Book of World Records, Louisiana is the state with the largest alligator population.
The majority of American alligators inhabit Florida and Louisiana, with over a million alligators in each state. Southern Florida is the only place where both alligators and crocodiles live side by side.
American alligators live in freshwater environments, such as ponds, marshes, wetlands, rivers, lakes, and swamps, as well as in brackish environments. When they construct gator holes in the wetlands, they increase plant diversity and also provide habitat for other animals during drought periods. They are therefore considered an important species for maintaining ecological diversity in wetlands. Further west, in Louisiana, heavy grazing by nutria and muskrat are causing severe damage to coastal wetlands. Large alligators feed extensively on nutria, and provide a vital ecological service by reducing nutria numbers. FYI Alligators have been known to take up residence in water obstacles on golf courses…..
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