Natural History

American Alligator

posted: 05/23/13
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North America Alligator | Photo Caption: Excerpted from North America: A World in One Continent by Huw Cordey

Alligators, despite their fierce reputation and fearsome appearance, are reasonably easygoing creatures (Not to get confused with their snappier and more aggressive neighbors, the crocodiles).

Alligators can withstand dramatic drops in temperature and even remain locked in ice for up to three weeks, with just a small breathing hole. All a bystander will see is the tip of its snout poking through the ice and it will slow its body functions to virtually shut down.

When the alligators bellow, you can hear it echo across the swamplands, as one begins and others take up the call until dozens of them are doing it. Only the males bellow, giving out a deep throaty rumble, and although it can happen at any time of year, it's more common during the mating season.

EXPLORE THE SWAMPS & RAINFORESTS: Alligator | Jaguar | Long-Tailed Manakin | Mayfly | ALL NORTH AMERICAN ANIMALS

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