Tuesday, November 5, 2013
Creature Feature #21: Alligator
Another cold-blooded American, the alligator is found in swampy regions of the southeast of North America. He can grow up to 15 feet in length and has a broader snout than his neighbour, the American Crocodile, also overlapping jaws (when his mouth is closed, the edge of his upper jaws covers his lower teeth) and is darker in coloration. He has between 74 and 84 teeth - although it is a very brave man who counts them, at least on a live 'gator.
He makes his own swimming pool by modifying his swampland habitat - these are known as "Alligator Holes" and are very useful in the drier seasons as a home for small aquatic animals. Larger ones will swiftly find themelves on the menu, as the alligator is a carnivore and will eat anything he can catch - including birds that land near the water's edge. On warm nights, he may hunt climb out of his hole to go hunting, waiting to ambush animals that might come down to the water for a drink.