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Alligator

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Alligators
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American Alligator


American alligator
Scientific classification
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Reptilia
Order:Crocodylia
Family:Alligatoridae
Genus:Alligator
Species

Alligator mississippiensis
Alligator sinensis

Alligator is a genus of the Alligatoridae family of crocodile-like reptiles. It includes two known species:

Alligators live in wet, stagnant, freshwater environments such as ponds, marshes, or swamps. Although alligators have heavy bodies and slow metabolisms, they are capable of short bursts of speed that can exceed 30 miles per hour. Alligators kill by biting their prey and then spinning and convulsing wildly.

Alligators are characterized by a broad snout and very dorsally located eyes compared to crocodiles. 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 crocodiles, in which upper and lower teeth can be seen), though many animals bear jaw deformities which complicate this means of identification.

The name alligator is the Anglicized form of the Spanish phrase el lagarto (the lizard), as the conquistadors who came to Florida referred to it.

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