Adult partially submerged in water. During the dry season, alligators will excavate "alligator holes" using their tail. An entire miniature ecosystem can form around such holes, as they become the only source of water for several miles, highlighting the important and beneficial effect an individual alligator can have upon its habitat during periods of drought. Other animals (e.g. birds, mammals and reptiles) may come to the water hole for shelter, food and water, although they may occasionally provide food for the resident alligator.
Photograph courtesy of Julie Ehrstein
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