Agriculture
Treating peanut allergy bit by bit
Chicken Eggs as Drug Factories
Cleaning Up Fish Farms
Amphibians
Tree Frogs
Salamanders and Newts
Salamanders
Animals
G-Tunes with a Message
Thieves of a Feather
Fishy Cleaners
Behavior
Contemplating thought
The (kids') eyes have it
Hitting the redo button on evolution
Birds
Kookaburras
Swans
Owls
Chemistry and Materials
Graphene's superstrength
Bang, Sparkle, Burst, and Boom
Silk’s superpowers
Computers
Galaxies on the go
Supersonic Splash
Games with a Purpose
Dinosaurs and Fossils
Dino Takeout for Mammals
Tiny Pterodactyl
Meet the new dinos
E Learning Jamaica
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
Earth
Groundwater and the Water Cycle
Riding to Earth's Core
Surf Watch
Environment
Lessons from a Lonely Tortoise
Hazy with a Chance of Sunshine
A Newspaper's Hidden Cost
Finding the Past
Preserving Ancient Warrior Paint
A Volcano's Deadly Ash
The Taming of the Cat
Fish
Hammerhead Sharks
Eels
Salmon
Food and Nutrition
Packing Fat
Symbols from the Stone Age
Chocolate Rules
GSAT English Rules
Adjectives and Adverbs
Who vs. Whom
Pronouns
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
GSAT Exam Preparation
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
Ministry of Education Announces 82 GSAT Scholarships for 2010
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
GSAT Exam Preparation
GSAT Scholarship
GSAT Mathematics
How a Venus Flytrap Snaps Shut
Prime Time for Cicadas
Math is a real brain bender
Human Body
Nature's Medicines
Spitting Up Blobs to Get Around
A Long Haul
Invertebrates
Ants
Millipedes
Centipedes
Mammals
Elephants
African Wild Dog
Jaguars
Parents
The Surprising Meaning and Benefits of Nursery Rhymes
Children and Media
Choosing a Preschool: What to Consider
Physics
Gaining a Swift Lift
Hold on to your stars, ladies and gentlemen
The Mirror Universe of Antimatter
Plants
Hungry bug seeks hot meal
Sweet, Sticky Science
Flower family knows its roots
Reptiles
Garter Snakes
Crocodiles
Reptiles
Space and Astronomy
Killers from Outer Space
Asteroid Lost and Found
A Whole Lot of Nothing
Technology and Engineering
Supersuits for Superheroes
Dancing with Robots
Bionic Bacteria
The Parts of Speech
Problems with Prepositions
Adjectives and Adverbs
Countable and Uncountable Nouns
Transportation
Robots on the Road, Again
Ready, unplug, drive
Middle school science adventures
Weather
Watering the Air
In Antarctica watch the heat (and your step)
Catching Some Rays
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™