Friday, September 9, 2011

American Alligator

The American alligator is the largest reptile found in North America. A member of the crocodile family they can get up to 18 feet long and weigh over 600 lbs. They live in rivers, creeks, lakes, swamps, ponds or most any other fresh water wetlands. In the U.S. they are found in the south eastern portions of the country, mainly Florida, Louisiana, and Texas where I took these pics.
Alligators have survived on the planet for over 150 million years. When their dinosaur cousins died out about 65 million years ago, the alligator managed to survive. However in the 1960s their population was so low that they were added to the endangered species list in 1967. Much of the decimation of their population came from people hunting them for their skins. Twenty years after they were listed, the American alligator was removed from the endangered species list and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service pronounced a complete recovery. Today it is estimated that there are well over a million alligators in the south eastern United States.


Country Mouse Studio said...

This one looks like he's smiling

Anonymous said...

Wow - so ancient and fabulous!

Guy said...


A really impressive shot of a fascinating animal. Great to see.


Kay L. Davies said...

Well, "well over a million alligators" ought to be enough to keep me out of the southeastern US with my dog.
Always happy to read of an endangered species recovering like that, I think.
— K

Kay, Alberta, Canada
An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

EG Wow said...

Scary but I do like the photos. :)

Cheryl said...

Wow! I'm guessing you used a long lens? Please say yes since this looks really close.

Anonymous said...

I've never seen an alligator in the wild although I know they populate the local lake we enjoy hanging out at. An amazing creature!