Alligators Essay

Alligators Essay

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The American alligator scientific name is Alligator mississippiensis. The Chinese alligator is the only other alligator in the alligator family and its scientific name is alligator sinensis. The American alligator is in the kingdom Animalia because it is an animal. The phylum is chordate because it has vertebrae. The American alligator is in the class reptilia because it is cold blooded, lays shelled eggs, scaly skin and breaths air. Alligators are in the order crocodilian because it is a large animal that appeared during the Cambrian stage. The American alligator is in the family alligator idea because it has larger, broader snouts, and can withstand colder temperatures. The genus is alligator and the species is Mississippiensis (Florida nature,2006).
The American alligators have many physical characteristics. Their size ranges from six to twelve feet. A full grown male can weigh up to one thousand and two hundred pounds. The American alligator has a long round snout with nostrils at the end. An alligator has two eyes towards the top of its head. Also alligators have a long thin body that has four legs and a long tail (EDIS, 2009)
The American alligator lives in wetlands in southeastern United States from North Carolina to Texas. Wetlands are areas of standing water such as bogs, swamps, ponds, and marshes. Alligators mostly live in fresh water wetlands, but sometimes alligators live in brackish water. Brackish water is water that has more saline or salt water than fresh water. Alligators can’t live in salt water because they do not have an effective salt gland. American alligators live in temperate climate with cold winters and warm summers. The average temperature is 50 degree Fahrenheit a year and 40 to 60 inches of rainfall...

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...and food. Their skin is used to make high quality leather. In 1950, American alligators were seriously endangered because humans were over hunting alligators. Then in 1967, the endangered species preservation act stopped the hunting of alligators and the number of alligators quickly rose. Now there are millions of alligators and people are allowed to hunt alligators again. Alligators are losing their habitat because wetlands are being filled to create land for houses, farms, and industries.
Alligators are very dangerous animals to humans. Alligator attacks occur around seven times a year, but few are lethal. When people feed them, alligators learn not to be afraid of humans. This causes more alligator attacks and alligators to become more aggressive with humans. Ninety percent of all alligator attacks are caused from people feeding alligators. (langly,2005)

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