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USA (national)

Louisiana State Reptile

Alligator head - click to see all state reptiles
Alligator head © Louisiana artist Guy Fanguy (used by permission).
See All State Reptiles & Amphibians.

American Alligator

American alligator video

The American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) was designated the state reptile of Louisiana in 1983. The word Alligator comes from the Spanish "el lagarto" (the lizard). Native to the Southeastern United States, alligators construct burrows, or "alligator holes" for shelter and hibernation. They are also known to find shelter in swimming pools during the dry months.

Louisiana bayou alligator - click to see all reptile symbols
Alligator © Louisiana artist Guy Fanguy (used by permission).
See All State Reptiles & Amphibians.

Alligators are an important part of their ecosystem - they control the population of prey species, create peat through their nesting activities, and benefit several other species with 'alligator holes' and nests (including the Florida Red-bellied turtle which incubates its own eggs there).

Young alligator - click to see all state reptiles & amphibians
Alligator at the San Diego Wild Animal Park - photo courtesy Free Public Domain Photo Database (PD Photo.org): American Alligator

After surviving nearly unchanged since the time of the dinosaurs, and having virtually no natural predators as adults today, alligators were headed for extinction only 20 years ago due to intense hunting from man. Protecting the species and alligator habitats has allowed the status to be changed from endangered to threatened.

A typical male reaches 13-14 feet in length and can weigh over 600 pounds (there are unconfirmed reports of alligators over 16 feet). Immature alligators have yellow cross-bands on a black background for camouflage. Adults can be long and thin or short and stocky.

Source:
Crocodilian Species - American Alligator
The Gator Hole
Links:
Alligator photos: Everglades Wildlife images - NPS
more alligator photos: Mississippi state reptile
All State Reptiles & Amphibians


    

 

Louisiana Symbols & Icons:

bird - dog
mammal
reptile - insect
crustacean  
amphibian
fish - salt. fish
flower - plant
wildflower
vegetable
tree - soil
fossil - mineral
heritage

flag - seal
motto - pledge
name - nickname
song 1-2-3-4
dance - quarter
instrument
painting - poems
museum
colors- tartan
fruit - meat pie
cuisine - jellies
drink- donut
 

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Alligator Pinata
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