|Endangered Species: American Alligator
A Christiansburg Elementary Project
Submitted by Katie at Christiansburg Elementary School
Christiansburg, VA, U.S.A.
Why Study This Topic?
When I found out I got study the American alligator
and write a report on it, I was worried about one thing. That one thing
was what would I need to know for this report. I asked Mrs. Ney, and she
said her students needed to know their animal habitat, what they eat, their
features, and their natural history. Students needed to know this in case
something happens to this endangered animal, and children were the only
one to take care of it.
What Was Already Known
What I already knew about the American alligator is
little. I knew that it lives in swamps and some lakes or ponds. For example,
there have been some in the pond at the University of Florida.
I also knew that they have more rounded noses
than their relative, the crocodile. That is how I tell them apart. That
is what I already knew.
Search for Information
The first place I used to research the American alligator
was the encyclopedia. The only thing I found in it was what they ate.
The second resource was "TehcnoZoo" on the Internet.
I went to where it said "Aquatia" and read the information. I found about
everything I needed to know there! One thing I found out was that they
are not on the endangered species list anymore, but they are legally protected.
The last thing I used was "Yahoo", Netsearch on
the Internet. I found a few things there. I found their habitat, their
features, and their diet. Those were the things I did to research the American
Description of Plant or Animal
There are two species of alligator, the American alligator,
the one I'm doing, and the Chinese alligator. The American alligator can
grow to be three meters (10 ft). The alligator is a brother to the crocodile.
Like the crocodile, it is a brownish-green color. The alligator's head
is broad and flat. Its snout is rounded. That is how people can tell the
alligator and the crocodile apart.
The alligator can grow to be eight to nine feet
long, if female and 11-12 feet if male. In the wild alligators can live
up to 30-35 years, but if in captivity can live up to 80 years old.
The American alligator lives in Florida, Georgia,
and Louisiana. It lives in salt-free and pollution-free water. The alligator
eats mostly fish and small animals. It will eat large things such as deer
or house pets, if they come to the water.
The American alligator is territorial. It needs
its own space, because it requires a lot of food. It always goes back to
its area after mating. That is about the alligator's habitat.
The American alligator has a camoflouge color, a greenish
brown color, to blend in with the water in which it lives. It also uses
2,000 to 3,000 teeth over its life time to catch its prey. It has as many
as 80 teeth in its jaw at one time.
Reasons for Endangerment
The American alligator is not endangered, because
it is legally protected. The alligator is protected from being killed for
skins to make shoes, purses, and food.
The American alligaters has only one predator,
humans. Then US legislatures made a law saying that people can't kill alligators.
I agree with this policy, because I myself don't like killing animals unless
The American alligator is not bothered by pollution,
because it doesn't live in polluted waters.
People have taken action to help the American alligator
that is successful. One way is that in America they passed laws saying
that hunting alligators is illegal. In India, Australia, and America there
are crocodile and alligator farms to help increase their numbers. When
the young are strong enough, they release them back to the wild. This law
has helped so much that in America, at limited times, hunters are allowed
to hunt the alligator.
In future, I would bring back the law that says
you may not hunt alligators. As I said in G:, I hate killing animals unless
I was starving.
What Was Learned
The things I learned in this research were a lot.
I learned that these wonderful creatures are more common than people think.
They are most common in Florida. I also learned that most alligators can
weigh between 400-500 pounds. Their longest record length is 19 feet long.
I also did not know there is only two species
of this animal in the world. These species are the American alligator and
the Chinese alligator. I also thought that alligators only live in swamps.
I was wrong. They also live in lakes and ponds in Florida, Georgia, and
Conclusions From Research
Before my search, I barely new anything about the
alligator. After I rsearched though, I found I liked researching this fascinating
animal. I found out how big it is, what it eats, where it lives, and how
it survived extinction. I was so surprised, I got this much information.
World Book Encolpedia (1993).Koala,Scott Fetzer
Company, Chicago, pages 361,362
"http://www.aaa.com.au/Koala.html" Koala Home Page
Wild Animal Encolpedia (1991). Koala,The
Macmillan Company,New York, pages 267,268.
Lauber, Patricia. (1993). Alligators, Redfeather
Inc,, pages. 57-60.
Bender, Lionel.(1995). Crocodiles and Alligators,Aladdin
Books Inc., pages.28-29.
Children's Britannica,(1991). Alligator,
Encyclopaedia Britannica Inc. pages170-171
Internet Alligator Pages:
here for more information on the American alligator!
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© copyright 1997
Last updated on March12, 1997