Alligator mississippiensis


Photograph by Rick Duhrkopf.

Photography contest, Honorable Mention.


Alligator mississippiensis - American alligator, Anahuac National Wildlife Preserve, Anahuac County, Texas.


Smiling. You’re doing it wrong.

Glen Davidson

That’s FSU on top.…

Anahuac County, Texas doesn’t exist. The city of Anahuac is the county seat of Chambers County, just northwest of Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge.

Texas has a huge population of alligators. Most bodies of fresh water, larger than a pond, have some. Many people are not aware of them because they are generally very careful to avoid humans. Lake Livingston has many large (greater than 16’)gators in the NW end. Attacks on humans are very rare, and there has never been a confirmed fatal attack in the state (fatal to humans, that is).

One mississippiensis… Two mississippiensis…

I was rather surprised to find that Alligators can live in relatively cold climates. Almost as far north as Memphis Tennessee. They have also been recorded close to the North Carolina-Virginia border near the Atlantic coast. Perhaps the northern limit varies with cycles between cold and mild winters.

Still, gators can survive limited time under a thin sheet of ice. Unlike the American Crocodile, which is pretty much confined to south Florida. Indeed, virtually all wild crocs in even the Tampa FL area succumbed to the very cold winter of 2010.

Seems the American Croc’s temperament is between that of the relatively mild mannered American Gator and that of the Australian Salt Water Croc. But with so few crocs in the USA, there have been only two or three human fatalites. Human deaths from gators are relatively uncommon although most fatalites have unsurprisingly been in Florida; when a single American Gator can take down adult cattle, that is deserving of wary respect.

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This page contains a single entry by Matt Young published on December 2, 2013 12:00 PM.

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