American Alligator Explained

The American Alligator, Alligator mississippiensis, (known colloquially as simply gator) is one of the two living species of Alligator, a genus within the family Alligatoridae. The American Alligator is only native to the Southeastern United States, where it inhabits wetlands that frequently overlap with human-populated areas. It is larger than the other extant alligator species, the Chinese Alligator.


The American Alligator has a large, slightly rounded body, with thick limbs, a broad head, and a very powerful tail. They generally have an olive, brown, gray or nearly black color with a creamy white underside. Algae-laden waters produce greener skin, while tannic acid from overhanging trees can produce often darker skin.[1] Adult male alligators are typically 13 to 14.7 feet long (3.96 to 4.48 meters), while adult females average 9.8 feet (2.99 meters).[2]

Notes and References

  1. Web site: Alligators at Animal Corner. 2009-02-04.
  2. Web site: Crocodilian Species — American Alligator (Alligator mississippiensis). 2008-10-14.