Did you know the name “alligator” is really an anglicized form of the Spanish word for “el lagarto” meaning “the lizard” in Spanish? It was these original settlers from the East who arrived what is today Florida who coined the name for the American Alligator, A mississippiensis.

There are two common types of alligator: The American Alligator and the Chinese Alligator. While the Chinese alligator is the smaller breed only in China and also endangered, in the United States the American Alligator (a mississippiensis) has increased in population growth due to good regulation and conservation.

Alligators are one of the earth’s oldest living species for over 200 million years. Baby crocodiles are born with an “egg tooth” that helps them crack out of their eggshell and later grow over 75 teeth. Alligators have a relatively wider snout than crocodiles and grow to be around 13ft (4m) long and a weight of around 800 pounds (360 kg).

Alligators, as they grow, begin to eat larger animals, graduating from worms and small fish to larger mammals (like deer) and other reptiles (lizards, turtles, snakes, and sometimes smaller alligators).

While alligators will generally avoid humans, they are very territorial and will attack in self-defense if they feel in danger or provoked.

The American Alligator is a common species found in the southern swamplands of the United States around the Gulf of Mexico, primarily in Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, and Mississippi as well as parts of Texas.

While natural habitats have shown signs of weakness, better conservation through regulated alligator farming have ensured the viability of the American Alligator while producing valuable hides and meat.

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