Agriculture
Where Have All the Bees Gone?
Getting the dirt on carbon
Flush-Free Fertilizer
Amphibians
Newts
Poison Dart Frogs
Toads
Animals
Polar Bears in Trouble
Living in the Desert
Eyes on the Depths
Behavior
The nerve of one animal
Talking with Hands
Surprise Visitor
Birds
Pheasants
Dodos
Blue Jays
Chemistry and Materials
Fog Buster
Sticky Silky Feet
Putting the Squeeze on Toothpaste
Computers
Galaxies on the go
Lighting goes digital
Small but WISE
Dinosaurs and Fossils
The man who rocked biology to its core
The bug that may have killed a dinosaur
A Big, Weird Dino
E Learning Jamaica
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
Earth
Earth's Lowly Rumble
Killer Space Rock Snuffed Out Ancient Life
Warmest Year on Record
Environment
Sounds and Silence
Acid Snails
Easy Ways to Conserve Water
Finding the Past
Words of the Distant Past
Ancient Art on the Rocks
A Big Discovery about Little People
Fish
Swordfish
Lampreys
Eels
Food and Nutrition
A Taste for Cheese
Recipe for Health
Chocolate Rules
GSAT English Rules
Pronouns
Subject and Verb Agreement
Whoever vs. Whomever
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
GSAT Exam Preparation
42,000 students will sit for the GSAT Exam in two weeks
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
GSAT Scholarship
Access denied - Disabled boy aces GSAT
GSAT Practice Papers | GSAT Mathematics | Maths
GSAT Mathematics
Setting a Prime Number Record
Detecting True Art
GSAT Practice Papers | GSAT Mathematics | Maths
Human Body
Don't Eat That Sandwich!
Tapeworms and Drug Delivery
Spitting Up Blobs to Get Around
Invertebrates
Lobsters
Mussels
Millipedes
Mammals
Quokkas
Yorkshire Terriers
Koalas
Parents
Expert report highlights the importance to parents of reading to children!
Children and Media
How children learn
Physics
Electric Backpack
Spin, Splat, and Scramble
One ring around them all
Plants
Cactus Goo for Clean Water
Seeds of the Future
Making the most of a meal
Reptiles
Anacondas
Snapping Turtles
Gila Monsters
Space and Astronomy
A Puffy Planetary Puzzle
No Fat Stars
Ringing Saturn
Technology and Engineering
Shape Shifting
Space Umbrellas to Shield Earth
Spinach Power for Solar Cells
The Parts of Speech
Problems with Prepositions
What is a Verb?
What is a Noun
Transportation
Seen on the Science Fair Scene
Revving Up Green Machines
Charged cars that would charge
Weather
In Antarctica watch the heat (and your step)
Antarctica warms, which threatens penguins
Polar Ice Feels the Heat
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™