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American Alligator

Their front legs have five toes and the back legs have four toes. They have short legs but can run quite fast. They have a long snout with nostrils as the end so that they can still breathe while fully submerged in water. They also have an “armored” powerful tail that is used to propel this creature through the
water. Their bodies are covered in scales and can be olive brown to black in color with pale bellies. They live 35-50 years in the wild.


American Alligators are found in the United States of America from the southern North Carolina border along the Atlantic coast to Florida and along the Gulf of Mexico to the Rio Grande in Texas.


Length: Males 13-15 feet; Females 10 feet.

These alligators will hibernate in the water with their nostrils above the water and allow themselves to become frozen in the ice this way.

IUCN lists as a species of least concern. They are hunted for both skin and meat, and can be dangerous to humans.

Conservation Action:

Listed on CITES Appendix II. They used to be on the Endangered Species List, but after laws were enacted to protect it (no hunting), they came off and are fully recovered. The Fish and Wildlife Service list it under the Endangered Species Act as “threatened due to similarity of appearance” as some are still killed as they look like other species of crocodilians. American alligators live in some protected areas.

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