Our Kids Video Book About Alligators
Interesting Music Video Book For Kids About Alligators
All About Alligators
Other than being the main attraction on some reality tv programs, alligators are quite fascinating creatures.
Did you know they are called “living fossils” because they have been here for millions of years, yet they only have two species; the American and the Chinese?
The difference in the species has more to do with location than distinguishable features. The American alligator takes up residence in the south-east areas of the US like Florida. The Chinese alligator can be found along the Yangtze River, but perhaps not for long as it is now endangered.
All alligators are cold-blooded and like to warm themselves in the summertime along the shores of marshy or swampy areas. To help keep themselves warm in the colder months, the alligator digs “gator-holes.” These are in the water and are situated where there is plenty of mud. Once in their hole, the alligator covers itself with the mud for insulation.
These reptiles can grow over 1,000 pounds (450 kilograms) and get this way from dining on fish, turtles, birds and even larger mammals like deer. An alligator will wait for its prey with just its eyes and nostrils sticking out of the water. Once it spots a tasty dinner it will make its way to shore, and then slowly stalk it. When it is within range it will run at and grab its prey with its powerful jaws, then drag it back to the water where it will hold it under with its sharp teeth until it succumbs.
In the water the alligator is a much more dangerous predator. It has a powerful tail and webbed feet to propel it forward and it’s also camouflaged. The combination of speed and cover spells doom for most fish and sea creatures.
Female alligators build huge nests. It measures about 3 feet high (0.91 meters) and 7 feet wide (2.1 meters). Here she will lie from 30 to 70 eggs. She then uses vegetation, like grass and other plants, to both secure and to cover up her eggs. It takes from 2 to 3 months for the eggs to hatch. The temperature in the nest determines whether the baby gators are male or female. If the nest is really warm (93 degrees F/33.8 C) the babies will be male. If the temperature is cooler (86 degrees F or 30 C) the babies will be female. In between, they will be both.
Often times the alligator is mistaken for a crocodile. The main difference is in their snouts. The alligator has a broader more squarish nose, whereas the crocodile is long and pointy. The crocodile is also better adapted to running on land. The alligator is slow and clumsy, while the crocodile can run up to speeds of 11 miles-per-hour (18 kilometers-per-hour).
For more information on the alligator, it is best to turn off the “reality TV” and look to the internet, your local library or even a zoo. Here you will find many fascinating and intriguing facts about these living fossils.
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