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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

The head of a juvenile alligator. The relative proportions of different parts of the body grow at different rates in alligators as in other animals, so that adults can have quite different shaped heads (for example) compared with juveniles. In alligators, the snout grows relatively much more rapidly than the brain-case, and this is most notably seen in a change in the relative size of the eyes compared with the rest of the head. Juveniles have large eyes for their head size, adding to their appealing nature (behaviourally relevant in those animals in which maternal care of offspring is important) - this may not enhance the survivability of juvenile crocodilians in crocodilian circles, but it can be used to promote their cause to humans.

Photograph © Adam Britton

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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