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SPECIES PROFILE. REVISED APRIL 2017.
Lower risk/ least concern
('Due to similarity of
appearance to the American Crocodile, Crocodylus acutus')
natural history of the alligator and its closest living
is a dramatic story
having shared, in varying form, habitat with the great dinosaurs
and other beasts of eons past, and having endured a barrage of
cataclysmic planetary events. The alligator is now experiencing
a peculiar chapter in its story, sharing its fragment of earth
with a burgeoning population of humans.
genus entered the story of evolution about 37 million years ago during
the Oligicene epoch. The species living today in North America may date
back as far as eight million years, a survivor not just in the context
and adaptation, but in its curious appeal to the two-legged
hominid mammal species that largely controls its destiny-- the human.
animal was threatened by humans, the humans found a way to
conserve it in a more-or-less mutually beneficial
fashion by means of the very modern concept of sustainable
use. Among the reptile's appreciated attributes are its
foundational positions in ecosystems, its value in commerce, its
burgeoning use in medicinal science,
and its appeal to human intrigue.
It follows then that its
conservation-propelled, thriving population would eventually challenge the perspectives and
lifestyles of its human neighbor, whose wants and needs sometime
conflict with those of the reptilian cohabitant.
Knowledge of this animal can be
enriching to your understanding of the natural enviroment, even
if you don't live in the alligator's region. This charismatic
reptile offers an abundance of fascination and intrigue and it
is hoped that this article will do the subject some justice.
This article is composed of various
subject sections, as represented by the links in the sub-menu
above, and is intended to be an accessible and readable general
treatment of the species. Subjects overlap each other, so you
will get the most benefit in reading the entire work, which can
fairly easily be achieved in a single sitting. Moreover, the
article, "An Alligator Safety Guide" (linked by the "Staying
Safe" tab atop this page), is meant to complement this article,
since it covers a range of topics which overlap the present one.
on a link from the menu atop this page to navigate this article.
SUGGESTED ARTICLE CITATION: Dupont,
Israel. 2008. Meet the
amazing alligator: species profile of Alligator mississippiensis. LivingAmongAlligators.com.
[ [insert date cited] ]; Rev. March 2017. Available from: