on December 2, 2011

The American alligator has vertical pupils in its eyes.



The American alligator has vertical pupils in its eyes. It is able to see well in the low light of night. The alligator has been known to eat just about anything found in its watery habitat, from paper trash to fish hooks and aluminum cans. The nostrils of an alligator are slightly elevated on its snout, allowing it to breathe while remaining completely submerged.


  • The alligator is smaller, darker, and has a more rounded snout than the crocodile.
  • It also prefers freshwater to the saltwater that crocodiles enjoy.

Fun Facts

  • An alligator’s lower jaw is very weak in comparison to its upper jaw. That is how a circus performer can stick his head inside an alligator’s mouth without fear of getting it bitten off.
  • The name “alligator” comes from the Spanish word “el lagarto,” meaning “lizard.”
  • Alligators living in water containing a lot of algae have a greenish hue to their hides.

Created Kind Members

Crocodile, caiman

CLASS: Reptilia (reptiles)
ORDER: Crocodylia (crocodiles, alligators, and relatives)
FAMILY: Alligatoridae (alligators)
GENUS/SPECIES: Alligator mississippiensis (American alligator), A. sinensis (Chinese alligator)

Size: 10–19 ft (3–5.8 m); Males are larger than females
Weight: Up to 1,000 lbs (454 kg)
Original Diet: Plants
Present Diet: Young eat insects and plants; mature alligators eat fish, mammals, and reptiles
Habitat: Aquatic areas in southern U.S. and the Yangtze River in China

Zoo Guide

Make your next visit to the zoo more than just fun—make it factual and fascinating too! You could even start a personal “creation zoo tours” ministry. Featuring more than 100 animals, our long-awaited Zoo Guide includes beautiful pictures and explores the amazing facts and design features that point to our awesome Creator. Excellent gift for any one who loves animals!

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