Endangered Species: American Alligator

A Christiansburg Elementary Project
Submitted by Katie at Christiansburg Elementary School
Christiansburg, VA, U.S.A.

alligator
American Alligator

Photographer Unknown

Why Study This Topic? What Was Already Known Search for Information Description of Plant or Animal Habitat Requirements
Adaptations Reasons for Endangerment Restoration Actions What Was Learned Conclusions from Research

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 alligator.

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.

Habitat Requirements

  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.

Adaptations

  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 urgent.
  The American alligator is not bothered by pollution, because it doesn't live in polluted waters.

Restoration Actions

  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 Louisiana.

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.

Bibliography

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:
"www.search.yahoo.com/bin/search?p=Alligator&a=n"
"gnv.fas.ufl.edu/www/agator/htm/aligator.htm"
"www.bio.bris.az.uk/research/crocs/csp_amis.htm"
"www.oaklandzoo.org/oz/zoo/atoz/azaligtr.html"
"aztec.asu.edu/phxzoo/alligatr.html"

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© copyright 1997 

Christiansburg Elementary
Last updated on March12, 1997