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Lator Gator!

a baby alligator on a log.

Baby alligator with its camo stripes!

Recently the bossman, Shane, was leading a family fun day and came across this awesome juvenile American alligator. Juvenile alligators have black and yellow stripes for camouflage.  Eventually gators loose their stripes and turn a dark blackish/green. Alligators prefer a freshwater habitat BUT will use the salt marsh for feeding or when they are on the move looking for more habitat. Sometimes they do get lost in the salt marshes. Unlike their crocodilian cousins, they lack glands to get rid of excess salt. Check out the video of the lil’ bb gator on our instagram here!: 

Did you know American alligators also almost went extinct in the US? In the 1950’s alligators were close to extinction due to loss of habitat, over hunting, and pesticide pollution. During the 60’s federal protections and conservation went in place to prevent them from going extinct! The efforts were a conservation success story and there are about 5 million American alligators estimated in the Southeast. The name alligator is derived from when the Spanish came to America and saw them. They called the animals “El Legarto”, meaning big lizard! 

an adult alligator in the water

Adult alligator!

There is a lot of cool information about alligators and crocodilians out there. If you’re interested in learning more about them check out this LOCAL study conducted by one of our buddies, Thomas Rainwater!  He has been involved with mark and recapturing alligators at a long term study site and the team he’s been working with have discovered that alligators do in fact have determinate growth. it was previously thought that they had indeterminate growth—which means they could continue growing throughout their lives, however, Thomas Rainwater and crew has discovered their growth rates do in fact taper off and eventually the gators stop growing.

Later Gator!!!


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