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The American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis), sometimes referred to colloquially as a gator, is a reptile endemic only to the Southeastern United States. It is one of the two living species of alligator, in the genus Alligator, within the family Alligatoridae. It is larger than the other extant alligator species, the Chinese alligator.

The American alligator inhabits wetlands that frequently overlap with human-populated areas.

American alligators are mostly found in the Southeastern United States, from Great Dismal Swamp in North Carolina south to Everglades National Park in Florida and west to the southern tip of Texas. They are found in the U.S. states of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Texas, and Oklahoma. Florida and Louisiana currently have the largest population of alligators. Florida has an estimated population of 1 to 1.5 million while Louisiana has an estimated population of 1.5 million

Although primarily freshwater animals, alligators will occasionally venture into brackish water. Alligators live in wetlands and this is the vital habitat that holds the key to their continued long-term survival. Alligators depend on the wetlands, and in some ways the wetlands depend on them. As apex predators, they help control the

American Alligator
American Alligator
Alligator reasting on the shore

Range

Throughout southern United States in lakes, rivers and ponds.

Size

Weight: 120 to 360 kg (270-800lbs)

Length: 1.5–2.1 metres (5–7 ft)

Diet

Anything that comes to the waters edge.

Weapons and Traits

Has the most powerful bite force of any amimal in the world, is a fast swimmer, uses the death roll.

Battle Status

Victorious over the Bull Shark

population of rodents and other animals that might overtax the marshland vegetation.

American alligators are less prone to cold than American Crocodiles. Unlike the American Crocodile, which would immediately succumb to the cold and drown in water of 45 °F (7.2 °C), an alligator can survive in such temperatures for some time without any signs of evident discomfort. It is thought that this adaptiveness is the reason why American alligators spread farther north than the American Crocodile. In fact, the American alligator is found farther from the equator and is more equipped to deal with cooler conditions than any other crocodilian.

In Florida, alligators face ambient temperature patterns unlike elsewhere in their range. The consistently high temperatures lead to increased metabolic cost. Alligators in the Everglades have reduced length to weight ratio, reduced total length, and delayed onset of sexual maturity compared with other parts of their range. The reason for this poor condition is currently suspected to be a combination of low food availability and sustained high temperatures.

The breeding season begins in the spring. Although alligators have no vocal cords, males bellow loudly to attract mates and warn off other males during this time by sucking air into their lungs and blowing it out in intermittent, deep-toned roars. Male alligators are also known to use infrasound during their mating behavior, as one of their routines is to engage in bellowing in infrasound while their head and tail are above the water, with their midsection very slightly submerged, making the surface of the water that is directly over their back literally "sprinkle" from their infrasound bellowing, in a so-called "water dance". Recently it was discovered that on spring nights alligators gather in large numbers for group courtship, the so-called "alligator dances."

The female builds a nest of vegetation, sticks, leaves, and mud in a sheltered spot in or near the water. After she lays her 20 to 50 white, goose egg-sized eggs, she covers them under more vegetation, which, like mulch, heats as it decays, helping to keep the eggs warm. This differs from Nile crocodiles who lay their eggs in pits.

The temperature at which alligator eggs develop determines their sex. Those eggs which are hatched in temperatures ranging from 90 to 93 degrees Fahrenheit (32 to 34 °C) become males, while those in temperatures from 82 to 86 °F (23 to 30 °C) become female. Intermediate temperature ranges have proven to yield a mix of both male and females. The female will remain near the nest throughout the 65-day incubation period, protecting the nest from intruders. When the young begin to hatch they emit a high-pitched croaking noise, and the mother quickly digs them out.

Battle against the Bull SharkEdit

A bull shark is swimming through the florida everglades, looking for prey. It spots a large fish and chases after it, snapping it up in it's jaws and swalloing it whole. The shark feels large ripples in the water and looks over to see an american alligator swimming at it at top speed. The shark moves out of the way and the alligator swings around and grabs the shark's fin in it's huge mouth. It tries to do a death roll but the bull shark slams it's head into the alligators jaw, stunning it and giving the shark the chance to escape.

The shark then bites the alligator but it can't get through the thick skin on the alligator's back. The alligator bites the shark again, this time getting a good grip on the shark's snout. It then does a death roll and turns the shark onto it's back, rendering it unable to move. The alligator then tears into the now helpless shark and rips out it's entrails and bones untill its nothing more than a bloody mess. The alligator then crawls up onto the bank and lies in the sun, warming itself up in the sunlight.

Winner American Alligator

Experts opinion

The alligator was heavier and more aggressive than the shark and while the shark was a better underwater fighter the alligators strength cancelled out that advantage.

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