Agriculture
Got Milk? How?
Microbes at the Gas Pump
Treating peanut allergy bit by bit
Amphibians
Frogs and Toads
Poison Dart Frogs
Salamanders and Newts
Animals
Young Ants in the Kitchen
Lives of a Mole Rat
New Mammals
Behavior
Night of the living ants
Longer lives for wild elephants
Between a rock and a wet place
Birds
Waterfowl
Songbirds
Storks
Chemistry and Materials
The memory of a material
Spinning Clay into Cotton
Music of the Future
Computers
The hungry blob at the edge of the universe
It's a Small E-mail World After All
New twists for phantom limbs
Dinosaurs and Fossils
Hunting by Sucking, Long Ago
A Big, Weird Dino
The Paleontologist and the Three Dinosaurs
E Learning Jamaica
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
Earth
Deep History
Slip Slidin' Away—Under the Sea
Earth from the inside out
Environment
What is groundwater
An Ocean View's Downside
Plastic Meals for Seals
Finding the Past
Your inner Neandertal
Little People Cause Big Surprise
Of Lice and Old Clothes
Fish
Seahorses
Perches
Tilapia
Food and Nutrition
Eat Out, Eat Smart
Making good, brown fat
Packing Fat
GSAT English Rules
Adjectives and Adverbs
Whoever vs. Whomever
Finding Subjects and Verbs
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
Scotiabank Jamaica Foundation Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) Scholarships
The Annual GSAT Scholarships
Ministry of Education Announces 82 GSAT Scholarships for 2010
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
GSAT stars reap scholarship glory
GSAT Exam Preparation
Access denied - Disabled boy aces GSAT
GSAT Mathematics
10 Common Mistakes When Preparing for the GSAT Math Test
Deep-space dancers
Math and our number sense: PassGSAT.com
Human Body
Gut Germs to the Rescue
Sun Screen
Music in the Brain
Invertebrates
Invertebrates
Starfish
Praying Mantis
Mammals
Hares
Cats
Cocker Spaniels
Parents
How children learn
Raise a Lifelong Reader by Reading Aloud
Choosing a Preschool: What to Consider
Physics
Project Music
Electric Backpack
Gaining a Swift Lift
Plants
Pumping Up Poison Ivy
When Fungi and Algae Marry
White fuzzy mold not as friendly as it looks
Reptiles
Geckos
Box Turtles
Caimans
Space and Astronomy
A Puffy Planetary Puzzle
Slip-sliding away
A Very Distant Planet Says "Cheese"
Technology and Engineering
A Satellite of Your Own
Beyond Bar Codes
Smart Windows
The Parts of Speech
Problems with Prepositions
Adjectives and Adverbs
What is a Preposition?
Transportation
Middle school science adventures
How to Fly Like a Bat
Flying the Hyper Skies
Weather
The Best Defense Is a Good Snow Fence
Warmest Year on Record
Recipe for a Hurricane
Add your Article

Alligators

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). 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.


Alligators vs. Crocodiles: 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 color, 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 individuals bear jaw deformities which complicate this means of identification.

Eyes that Glow Red: The eyes of an alligator glow red when a light is shined on them. This fact can be used to find alligators in the dark.

Big and Beautiful: According to the Everglades National Park website, the largest alligator ever recorded in Florida was 17 feet 5 inches long (5.3 meters). The largest alligator ever recorded measured 19 feet 2 inches (5.8 meters) and was found on Marsh Island, Louisiana.


Where in the World? There are only two countries on earth that have alligators: the United States and China. The Chinese alligator is endangered and lives only in the Yangtze River valley. The American Alligator is found in the United States from the Carolinas to Florida and along the Gulf Coast. The majority of American Alligators inhabit Florida and Louisiana. In Florida alone there are an estimated more than 1 million alligators. The United States is the only nation on earth to have both alligators and crocodiles. American Alligators live in freshwater environments, such as ponds, marshes, wetlands, rivers, and swamps. In China, they live only along the fresh water of the Yangtze River.

Solitary Creatures: 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.

Fast Eaters: 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 by allowing it to rot or by biting and then spinning or convulsing wildly until bite size pieces are torn off. This is referred to as the "death roll."

On the Menu: Alligators are opportunistic feeders, eating almost anything they can catch. When they are young they eat fish, insects, snails, and crustaceans. As they grow they take progressively larger prey items, including: larger fish such as gar, turtles, various mammals, birds, and other reptiles. They will even consume carrion if they are sufficiently hungry. Adult alligators can take razorbacks and deer and are well known to kill and eat smaller alligators. In some cases, larger alligators have been known to hunt the Florida panther and bears, making it the apex predator throughout its distribution. As humans encroach onto to their habitat, attacks on humans are not unknown, but are few and far between.

Don't Get Too Close: Unfortunately deaths by alligators have increased. There have been only 9 fatal attacks in the U.S.A throughout the 70's, 80's and 90's. 11 people were killed by alligators between 2001 and 2006; more deaths have occurred in the past 5 years than in the previous 30. For a long time people have been taught that alligators fear humans, which is true, but lead some people to be more courageous and enter the animal's habitat.


Single Mothers: 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.

All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License

Alligators
Alligators








Designed and Powered by HBJamaica.com™