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FAMILY:
ALLIGATORIDAE

A. mississippiensis
A. sinensis
C. crocodilus
C. c. apaporiensis
C. c. fuscus
C. latirostris
C. yacare
M. niger
P. palpebrosus
P. trigonatus

FAMILY:
CROCODYLIDAE

C. acutus
C. intermedius
C. johnstoni
C. mindorensis
C. moreletii
C. niloticus
C. novaeguineae
C. palustris
C. porosus
C. rhombifer
C. siamensis
M. cataphractus
O. tetraspis
T. schlegelii

FAMILY:
GAVIALIDAE

G. gangeticus

DICHOTOMOUS KEY
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Alligator mississippiensis

Adult basking on a grassy mat, close to the water. The slightly agape jaws may be serving several purposes. Gaping may play a role in temperature regulation, so that evaporative cooling occurs from the moist, exposed palate. This serves primarily to keep the head and brain cool while the rest of the body warms. Gaping is also a threat response in many animals, alligators included. More severe threats are accompanied by much hissing.

Photograph © Tom Arnold, © Aris Multimedia Entertainment, Inc 1993.

ALL IMAGES:
[click on image for enlargement]

Click Alligator habitat in Florida Everglades Click Basking alligator on grass Click Drawing of adult alligator
Click Alligator on grass behind tree Click Sub-adult basking on floating log Click Leucistic hatchling (b&w)
Click Head of large adult Click Head of swimming adult Click Front view of adult asleep on sand
Click Adult floating in water Click Sub-adult basking on floating log Click Head silhouette in water
Click Leucistic adult alligator Click Dorsal view of elongated alligator head Click Top-down view of sub-adult alligator
Click Tightly-packed sub-adults in water Click Close-up of juvenile alligator eye Click Close-up of juvenile alligator head





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