[83] [58], American alligators primarily bask on shore, but also climb into and perch on tree limbs to bask if no shoreline is available. Best Answers. [4][5] On rare occasions, a large, old male may grow to an even greater length. [22] The largest reported individual size was a male killed in 1890 on Marsh Island, Louisiana, and reportedly measured at 5.84 m (19 ft 2 in) in length, but no voucher specimen was available, since the American alligator was left on a muddy bank after having been measured due to having been too massive to relocate. There are approximately 200,000-250,000 alligators in the state of Georgia. Young are born with yellow bands around their bodies and are protected by their mother for up to one year.[10]. [113] The market for alligator meat is growing, and about 300,000 pounds (140,000 kg) of meat are produced annually. Females are smaller, measuring 2.6 to 3 m (8.5 to 9.8 ft) in length. Adult American alligators can growl, hiss, or cough to threaten others and declare territory. Captured alive by John Avery and died en route to the Smithsonian Institution after a sailor poured green paint on its back. [20] Water birds, such as herons and egrets, storks, waterfowl and large dabbling rails such as gallinules or coots, are taken when possible. American alligators are apex predators and consume fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. Unusually in these regions, reptiles and amphibians were the most important nonpiscivore prey, mostly turtles and water snakes. The species is the official state reptile of three states: Florida, Louisiana, and Mississippi. [38], American alligators are less vulnerable to cold than American crocodiles. Generally speaking, crocodiles are larger than alligators, yet size will vary from one species to another.Dwarf crocodiles for instance, will barely reach 1 m (3.3 feet). See you on the water. It is distinguished from the sympatric American crocodile by its broader snout, with overlapping jaws and darker coloration, and is less tolerant of saltwater but more tolerant of cooler climates than the American crocodile, which is found only in tropical climates. I live outside Atlanta and sometimes I worry about swamps near our house, ... how far north in Georgia can you find alligators. [117] Several organizations and products from Florida have been named after the animal. [90] Their vocal folds consists of epithelium, lamina propria and muscle. No significant difference is noted between the bite forces of male and female American alligators of equal size. [4][5][6][7][8] The American alligator inhabits freshwater wetlands, such as marshes and cypress swamps from Tamaulipas in Mexico to southeastern and coastal North Carolina. To the north, we may imagine that they stop somewhere around Disney World. [53] Some of these locations appear to be relatively recent introductions, with often small but reproductive populations. 10 Things You Need to Know About Florida Alligators. F. Wayne King, John Thorbjarnarson and Carlos Yamashita. Coasts, "The American Alligator: An Indicator Species for Everglades Restoration", "Nesting Island Creation for Wading Birds", Crocodile and Alligator Differences – Animal Facts for Kids, Disney alligator attack: Resort to add warning signs, source says, "A String of Deaths by Gators in Florida", "Alligator wrestling – cruelty or tradition? Alligators are native to only the United States and China. Young American alligators eat small fish, frogs, crayfish, and insects. Both sexes may den underneath banks or clumps of trees during the winter. Domestic American alligators range from long and slender to short and robust, possibly in response to variations in factors such as growth rate, diet, and climate. The Chinese alligator likely descended from a lineage that crossed the Bering land bridge during the Neogene. [15] However, the full genome, published in 2014, suggests that the alligator evolved much more slowly than mammals and birds.[16]. The sprawling of American alligators and other crocodylians is not similar to that of salamanders and lizards, being similar to walking. or 454 kilograms), according to the Smithsonian National Zoological Park. When the jaws are closed, the edges of the upper jaws cover the lower teeth, which fit into the jaws' hollows. At least four alligators have been seen in northern US cities in recent weeks, far from their usual southern habitat. [72][71], Other animals may occasionally be eaten, even large deer or feral wild boars, but these are not normally part of the diet. The conservation status of the American alligator is listed as least concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Infrasonic waves from a bellowing male can cause the surface of the water directly over and to either side of its back to literally "sprinkle",[95] in what is commonly called the "water dance". As the frequency increases, there's high tension and large strains. Their range extends down to southern Florida and includes the Everglades. Retention ponds, areas flooded from … [60] This adaptiveness is thought to be why American alligators are widespread further north than the American crocodile. They could only survive in captivity, as they are very vulnerable to the sun and predators. [60] In fact, the American alligator is found farther from the equator and is more equipped to handle cooler conditions than any other crocodilian. The Gatornationals is a NHRA drag race held at the Gainesville Raceway in Gainesville since 1970. [22] Other prey, including snakes, lizards, and various invertebrates, are eaten occasionally by adults. The American alligator is capable of biting through a turtle's shell or a moderately sized mammal bone. Black caiman, Charles, S.; Ross, A. and Garnett, Stephen (1989). [56], They inhabit swamps, streams, rivers, ponds, and lakes. [38] In Lake Griffin State Park, Florida, adults weighed on average 57.9 kg (128 lb). Sharks are also known to prey on American alligators, in turn, indicating encounters between the two predators are common. Juveniles have small, needle-like teeth that become much more robust and narrow snouts that become more broad as the individuals develop. Unlike an American crocodile, which would immediately succumb to the cold and drown in water at 45 °F (7 °C) or less, an American alligator can survive in such temperatures for some time without displaying any signs of discomfort. [22] Hatchlings gather into pods and are guarded by their mother and keep in contact with her through their "yelping" vocalizations. Usually, terrestrial hunting occurs on nights with warm temperatures. Eggs are laid in a nest of vegetation, sticks, leaves, and mud in a sheltered spot in or near the water. The problem is that alligators live only as far north as northeastern North Carolina. Mistaken identity leading to an attack is always possible, especially in or near cloudy waters. Alligators are usually found in freshwater, slow-moving rivers. A lone American alligator was spotted for over 10 years living in a river north of Atlanta, Georgia. [69][70], American alligators are considered an apex predator throughout their range. The nests built on levees are warmer, thus produce males, while the cooler nests of wet marsh produce females. Crocodilians are the most vocal of all non-avian reptiles and have a variety of different calls depending on the age, size, and gender of the animal. Alligator hides bring good prices and hides in the 6- to 7-ft range have sold for $300 each. Body Colour. Alligators and caimans split in North America during the late Cretaceous, and the caimans reached South America by the Paleogene, before the closure of the Isthmus of Panama during the Neogene period, from about 23 to 2.58 Mya. [22], Adult American alligators held the record as having the strongest laboratory-measured bite of any living animal, measured at up to 13,172 N (1,343.2 kgf; 2,961 lbf). Such behavior has been witnessed, as well as documented from stomach contents, with the American alligators eating such fruit as wild grapes, elderberries, and citrus fruits directly from the trees. [101] They are preyed on by large fish, birds, raccoons, Florida panthers, and adult American alligators. American alligators prevent predatory mammals from reaching island-based rookeries and in return eat spilled food and birds that fall from their nests. Most animals captured by American alligators are considerably smaller than itself. [58], Nutria were introduced into coastal marshes from South America in the mid-20th century, and their population has since exploded into the millions. [110] Only nine fatal attacks occurred in the United States throughout the 1970s–1990s, but American alligators killed 12 people between 2001 and 2007. They cause serious damage to coastal marshes and may dig burrows in levees. [46] Chinese alligators are smaller, growing to around 4.6 to 4.9 feet (1.4 to 1.5 m) long and usually weighing only around 50 lbs. the range of alligators in North Carolina includes Merchants Millpond State Park, just south of the Virginia border Source: North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, North Carolina Alligator Management Plan (Figure 2) Alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) are in Merchants Millpond State Park, North Carolina, just south of Dismal Swamp and at Kitty Hawk. Recently a seven-foot alligator was videoed by TWRA Region 1 personnel in West Tennessee at the Wolf River WMA in Fayette County. In 1807, Georges Cuvier created the genus Alligator;[11] the American alligator and the Chinese alligator are the only extant species in this genus. [68] When hunting terrestrial prey, American alligators may also ambush them from the edge of the water by grabbing them and pulling the prey into the water, the preferred method of predation of larger crocodiles. (22.7 kg). In mature males, most specimens grow up to about 3.4 m (11 ft 2 in) in length, and weigh up to 360 kg (790 lb),[6] while in females, the mature size is normally around 2.6 m (8 ft 6 in), with a body weight up to 91 kg (201 lb). To the north, we may imagine that they stop somewhere around Disney World. They are opportunists and their diet is determined largely by both their size and age and the size and availability of prey. While you might find the occasional alligator and plenty of alligator gar in Texas, rest assured, that Texas is not like Florida that is abundant with alligators who can be dangerous. Game animals and shooting in North America, Thorbjarnarson, J. Hatchlings feed mostly on invertebrates. At its February 2018 meeting, the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC) adopted a rule to allow limited take of American alligators (H6) as prescribed by the North Carolina Alligator Management Plan (Plan). Very old, large male American alligators reach an expected maximum size up to 4.6 m (15 ft 1 in) in length and weighing up to 453 kg (999 lb), while females reach a maximum of 3 m (9 ft 10 in). [18][19], As with all crocodilians, and as opposed to many mammals where size eventually diminishes with old age, healthy American alligators may continue to grow throughout their lives and the oldest specimens are the largest. Other victims include: a 2-year-old girl who wandered 700 feet from her fenced backyard; a … This behavior has qualified the American alligator to be considered a keystone species. American alligator predation on Florida panthers is rare, but has been documented. [72], Recently, a population of Burmese pythons became established in Everglades National Park. The fundamental frequency has been influenced by the glottal gap size and subglottal pressure and when the phonation threshold pressure has been exceeded, there will be vocal fold vibration.[91]. Alligators have a wider, rounded U-shaped snout while crocs have a more pointed V-shaped snout. Analysts said the beasts were abandoned pets, not global warming refugees. The USFWS still regulates the legal trade in American alligators and their products to protect still endangered crocodilians that may be passed off as American alligators during trafficking. Alligator hunters, pelt traders, and runaway consumption of Gulf coast marshes: A trophic cascade perspective on coastal wetland losses. Domestic American alligators range from long and slender to short and robust, possibly in response to variations in factors such as growth rate, diet, and climate. If it is a body of water, it could contain an alligator (even large puddles). This site states they occur as far north as the North Carolina-Virginia border, and to Texas. Estimated to be between 426.72 cm and 457.2 cm when spotted, This page was last edited on 3 December 2020, at 15:43. Since 1948, 257 documented attacks on humans in Florida (about five incidents per year) have been reported, of which an estimated 23 resulted in death. [46], When on land, an American alligator moves either by sprawling or walking, the latter involving the reptile lifting its belly off the ground. The American alligator has a large, dark, slightly rounded body and thick limbs. ", "Alternative Opportunities for Small Farms:Alligator Production Review", "Gator Maters: Florida farmers find lucrative business mating alligators", Why the Gulf Coast needs more big alligators, Central African slender-snouted crocodile (, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=American_alligator&oldid=992112356, Native American cuisine of the Southeastern Woodlands, Articles with dead external links from December 2017, Articles with permanently dead external links, Articles with dead external links from July 2017, Articles with dead external links from June 2020, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Approximate range of American alligator in the United States. They can, however, move quickly for short distances. The largest populations live in the southernmost counties, but healthy populations also live near the lakes of the Croatan National Forest in parts of Carteret, Craven and Jones co… After the female lays her 20 to 50 white eggs, about the size of a goose egg, she covers them with more vegetation, which heats as it decays, helping to keep the eggs warm. [44] Some American alligators are missing or have an inhibited gene for melanin, which makes them albino. However, a quick Google search didn't turn anything up about one being seen, but there is fear that they could move into VA in … [102][103][104], American alligators play an important role in the restoration of the Everglades as biological indicators of restoration success. [39] Weight at sexual maturity per one study was stated as averaging 30 kg (66 lb) while adult weight was claimed as 160 kg (350 lb). Those eggs hatched at a temperature of 93 °F (34 °C) or more become males, while those at a temperature of 86 °F (30 °C ) or lower become female. [20][21], During the 19th and 20th centuries, larger males reaching 5 to 6 m (16 ft 5 in to 19 ft 8 in) have been reported. States began monitoring their American alligator populations to ensure that they would continue to grow. The alligator uses its powerful tail to propel itself through water. (2010). [56], Both the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and state wildlife agencies in the South contributed to the American alligator's recovery. Most of the eight children and 15 adults had been in freshwater bodies of water. [42] Given that female American alligators have relatively higher survival rates at an early age and a large percentage of given populations consists of immature or young breeding American alligators, relatively few large mature males of the expected mature length of 3.4 m (11 ft 2 in) or more are typically seen. While alligators move very quickly in water, they are generally slow-moving on land. Sounds ranged from 50 to 1200 Hz. While alligators primarily live in the southeastern U.S., crocodiles are found in North, South, and Central America … Like the spectacled caiman, this species has a bony nasal ridge, though it is less prominent. [64], The teeth of the American alligator are designed to grip prey, but cannot rip or chew flesh like teeth of some other predators (such as canids and felids), and depend on their gizzard, instead, to masticate their food. American alligators bellow in B flat (specifically "B♭1", defined as an audio frequency of 58.27 Hz), and bellowing choruses can be induced by tuba players, sonic booms, and large aircraft.[98]. [20], In 2013, American alligators and other crocodilians were reported to also eat fruit. [50] During respiration, air flow is unidirectional, looping through the lungs during inhalation and exhalation;[51] the American alligator's abdominal muscles can alter the position of the lungs within the torso, thus shifting the center of buoyancy, which allows the American alligator to dive, rise, and roll within the water. The American crocodile is found in the warmer coastal waters of south Florida while American alligators can live as far north as the Carolinas and as far west as Texas. [118] Allegheny College and San Francisco State University both have Gators as their mascots, as well.[119]. [9] Male American alligators use infrasound to attract females. [45], The teeth number 74–80. Keddy, P.A., L. Gough, J.A. The problem here in Florida is that everywhere there's alligators, there's people building on top of it. They inhabit the swamps and shores of North Carolina from Brunswick and New Hanover counties north to the Alligator River Wildlife Refuge in Hyde County. Where alligators live. Protection under the Endangered Species Act allowed the species to recuperate in many areas where it had been depleted. [52], American alligators are found in the wild in the Southeastern United States, from the Great Dismal Swamp in Virginia and North Carolina, south to Everglades National Park in Florida, and west to the southern tip of Texas, as well as the northern border region of the Mexican state of Tamaulipas. [65], American alligators have been documented using lures to hunt prey such as birds. [49] In the water, American alligators swim like fish, moving their pelvic regions and tails from side to side. read more. Anyway, yeah, North Carolina is as far north as they go, Eastern Texas is as far west as they go. [7][8] In Newnans Lake, Florida, adult males averaged 73.2 kg (161 lb) in weight and 2.47 m (8 ft 1 in) in length, while adult females averaged 55.1 kg (121 lb) and measured 2.22 m (7 ft 3 in). Nyman, T. McFalls, J. Carter and J. Siegrist (2009). RANGE Alligators occur from the southern tip of Texas to the northeastern part of North Carolina. [3] They are found in parts of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. [43], Dorsally, adult American alligators may be olive, brown, gray, or black. [84] Additionally, American alligators engage in what seems to be cooperative hunting. [71] In Louisiana, where introduced coypu are common, they are perhaps the most regular prey for adult American alligators, although only larger adults commonly eat this species. These states produce a combined annual total of some 45,000 alligator hides. Wading birds appear to be attracted to areas with American alligators and have been known to nest at heavily trafficked tourist attractions with large numbers of American alligators, such as the St. Augustine Alligator Farm in St. Augustine, Florida. Created by the Miccosukee and Seminole tribes prior to the arrival of Europeans, this tourism tradition continues to persist despite criticism from animal-rights activists.[112]. Since the late 1880s, alligator wrestling has been a source of entertainment for some. These American alligators are extremely rare and almost impossible to find in the wild. [111] At least 28 fatal attacks by American alligators have occurred in the United States since 1970. Bellowing is performed in a "head oblique, tail arched" posture. Leidyosuchus of Alberta is the earliest known fossil, from the Campanian era 83 to 72 Mya. While they prefer fresh water, American alligators may sometimes wander into brackish water,[58] but are less tolerant of salt water than crocodiles, as the salt glands on their tongues do not function. [21][108] American alligator bites are serious injuries due to the reptile's sheer bite force and risk of infection. Gatorland's denizens roar in ecstasy", Python explodes after swallowing 6-foot alligator in Florida Everglades, USGS Maps Show Potential Non-Native Python Habitat Along Three U.S. "Gators" has been the nickname of the University of Florida's sports teams since 1911. GATOR VICTIMS. [61] When the water begins to freeze, American alligators go into a period of brumation; they stick their snouts through the surface, which allows them to breathe above the ice. They are grouped in the family Alligatoridae with the caimans. On spring nights, American alligators gather in large numbers for group courtship, in the aforementioned "water dances". Hence, Louisiana has had a bounty to try to reduce nutria numbers. I've never heard anything about Alligators in VA, but I also live in the mountains. [17] Weight varies considerably depending on length, age, health, season, and available food sources. Subsequent conservation efforts have allowed their numbers to increase and the species was removed from endangered status in 1987. By balancing sticks and branches on their heads, American alligators are able to lure birds looking for suitable nesting material to kill and consume. The American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis), sometimes referred to colloquially as a gator or common alligator, is a large crocodilian reptile native to the Southeastern United States, with a small population in Mexico. The breeding season begins in the spring. Most of North Carolina's alligators are found in its southeastern corner.

how far north do alligators live

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