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- Reptiles & Amphibians
My dad and his older brother and their brother in law, my uncle James - those three guys are all into golfing. Here in Kaufman, Texas; or rather, a bit further out in the countryside near Kemp, Texas - is one of their favorite places to go golfing, the King's Creek Country Club. Should you ever be in the area and golfing there it is important to know that should your golf ball get knocked askew and land too close to one of the ponds, well, maybe you should leave it there. You see, there are alligators in the ponds.
Growing up I lived just a few miles from where I live now and am forever typing to people on the web, and the next door neighbor then was a local medical doctor. The doctor had a son, and of course I know him, and a lot of his friends. The doctor's son was out with one of my fishing buddies shooting some targets out on their property - again, which isn't ten miles from where I'm sitting, and they went to have a look at their stocked fish pond, and they spotted a large alligator near a drain pipe. This was just after a large rain, and the drain pipe was moving a large amount of water into the pond, and a lot of additional fish, but the alligator had positioned itself just next to where the large pipe fed into the pond, and he was adroitly snagging every fish that came through.
The point I'm making here is that even though I'm hundreds of miles from Louisiana and have never seen an alligator in the wild myself - they are definitely here in my area. I might ought to have a look at the pond here on the back 40.
A Very Large Alligator.
Humans and Alligators.
Though the American alligator is a very scary looking reptile, one shouldn't be overly afraid of these large predators. No, one should definitely be very respectful in one's approach towards the alligator, and I do mean do not approach one at all, but the alligator isn't inclined towards being aggressive towards humans. The alligator is NOT a crocodile. Yes, an alligator can easily kill a human, but alligators do not view humans as food. The thing is that humans are universally stupid in one way or another, and so in certain sorts of environments, an alligator might become confused and then think humans are prey - stay out of murky waters in alligator country! The other major thing to know is that alligators are good parents, in their own way, and will definitely defend their young should a human get too close to their alligator babies.
The major thing to remember is that alligators are NOT crocodiles. A crocodile literally wants to eat you. To a crocodile - you are a meal. Alligators can and sometimes do kill humans, but they know that humans are not their meal. When alligator bites do occur they are often fatal because of the sheer power of the alligator's jaws, and because their reptile mouth contains all manner of deadly bacteria. So even if the alligator's bite isn't fatal, very often the infections from it are. Stay out of murky water and you've got little chance for alligators to make you into a natural selection statistic.
The alligators tail is another thing - easily and often the alligator uses it's extremely strong and powerful tail as a weapon, and it can easily produce very compounded fractures in human leg bones - just stay the hell out of an alligator's path, and you, my friend, will never have alligator issues.
Totally Hot, Totally Crazy Chick - Doing Dumb Stuff With Alligators.
- How to Wrestle an Alligator | The Art of Manliness
Wrestle an alligator with these tips from a professional animal trainer.
This might sound to the common ear as something somewhat crazy, but the common ear often is steeped in disrespect for the cultures the forefathers of common ears stamped out with tremendous and totally unjustifiable violence and racism. Alligator wrestling is a Native American tradition, and so it shall remain. Alligator wrestling, however, is dangerous, and besides that - it has transcended Native American cultures on over to ...well, redneck culture.
The following paragraph is directly from Wikipedia, and it concerns Native American cultures and the alligator:
Southeastern Native Americans hunted Alligators as a food source for thousands of years. At the turn of the 20th century, Showing off alligators as roadside attractions helped Native Americans generate revenue. Long before the first Europeans explorers wandered into the Florida Everglades, alligator wrestling existed. For tribes like the Seminole and Miccosukee, learning how to "handle" the reptiles was part of their existence.
Me personally, I couldn't and wouldn't want to be any more "manly" than I already am. I've a minor case of the little big man syndrome as it is, and do not wish to aggravate it any. I'll leave alligator wresting that needs doing to the Natives and the ...."experts." Thanks.
An American Alligator.
Somewhere in the city of Rome, Italy - there is an entrance to a humongous bit of catacombs, and on the entrance it reads in Latin, "here there be monsters." - That in no way refers to the mountain of bones and decaying or preserved corpses, but rather, to the living misfits of then and now that could only live there - for reasons you can use your imagination to define.
I'd imagine the first Italian or Englishman, or likely, Frenchman to discover the American alligator in the Louisiana territory said something similar, or more likely, he said,
"holy shit, Franco, look at that monstrous lizard!"
Please do kindly imagine some sort of French translation - but using the colloquialisms of France in phonologically correct manners. I trust you.
There is a major difference here between the first European to discover the American alligator and the first European to discover the South Florida salt water crocodile - nobody ever heard again from the first European to discover the salt water crocodile of Southern Florida and the rest of the Americas on Southward. I can only wonder what happened to him.
I deny not only the allegations, I deny the alligators - Jesse Jackson.
The Chinese Alligator.
All About Alligators.
- Dangerous Beasts - Alligator
Quite possibly the most dangerous creature in the United States. Why the alligator is so well suited to have survived for two hundred twenty million years.
The Chinese Alligator
One of the most rare reptiles in the world is the Chinese Alligator. It was always a major error of the American people to think themselves somehow superior to any other sorts of people for the "sin" of having been born somewhere else. What a freaking joke! Why the hell should anyone here feel better about themselves for having been born here? Oh the luck of the victors - God laughs and then he cries, I'd wager, for these proud capitalists that think they know it all, and have a better way of living by virtue of their forefathers having won the second world war.
Me, I'm not laughing, and I do sometimes cry about it. China has an alligator too - clearly China is a superpower,as only nations with their own species of alligator get to be so. Russia? Please, they've got Siberian tigers, wolves, and lotsa bears - but Russia has no alligator.
The Chinese alligator, in all seriousness, is a seriously endangered animal in the wild, there are only a rough two hundred or so living in the wild, there are more, however, in captivity.
Chinese alligators are considerably smaller than American alligators - the Chinese version rarely gets over seven feet in length - American alligators, however, may reach sizes of 19 feet in length, and weigh in at well over a thousand pounds.
Yes, Even The Alligators Are Bigger In Texas...
Facts about alligators and crocodiles.
- American Alligator - Alligator mississipiensis
Facts about alligators and crocodiles - check this against Wikipedia, and you will see some conflicting information.
American Alligators - Size and Specifics.
There is an American alligator living in Germany. The reptile in question lives in a zoo, and has been there since 1937 - alligators can live a nice long life if the circumstances are right.
The average adult American alligator is about thirteen feet in length, and weighs about eight hundred pounds. American alligators do, however, get much larger, and the largest on record is not the one found in Texas above, but a nineteen foot long specimen found, thankfully, I might add, in Louisiana. There is a degree of sexual dimorphism in alligators, all that means, really, is that the males and females differ in size - and in this case, male alligators get somewhat larger than do the females. Alligator hunting is becoming a problem in the USA, and the facts are that the larger alligators are the ones killed in hunts - so how big an American alligator can get is not truly known, they grow their entire lives - rather different from we humans that do not.
In regards to the photo above - it looks a lot like some sort of animal lynching, or animal cruelty - but this is not the case - the alligator was drowned when it was found, and biologist were somewhat to blame for it, but the animal's death was unintentional - there was a study going on, and the alligator was caught on an alligator bait and a rope, but the creature wound up drowning itself. I'll let you make your own decision on that - I've provided the link to the story with the picture.
A Rare Albino Alligator.
What Do Alligators Eat?
Alligators start their lives off as somewhat smallish reptiles, but they continue to grow their entire lives. Baby alligators will eat worms, tadpoles, frogs, toads, insects, fish, crayfish, worms, -but are sometimes eaten themselves by larger alligators.
As an alligator grows he or she will hunt and prey upon increasingly larger animals - basically, whatever it can handle is deemed a meal. Alligators are known to take down deer, wild boar, dogs - and even big predators like cougars and black bears! Humans are never regarded by the alligator as prey - but should someone get too close, they can be seen as a threat, and will be attacked by alligators. The alligator is a definite apex predator.
Just to reiterate a crucial fact here - if you are reading this, then you are not something seen as food by the American alligator, however, the American crocodile, or ANY salt water crocodile - regards you as quite yummy.
The Florida Crocodile - NOT an American Alligator
Alligator Love - The Spring Alligator Dance
Some Spring nights alligators spring for a party, and gather together for an alligator ball - mass reptile courtship and orgies ensue. I'm not making this up - it happens.
Alligator bravado is a major thing, surely it was learned from the rednecks on two legs that abound throughout alligator territory, the American Southern Coastal states, but who knows? Maybe two legged red necked types learned head slapping, bellowing choruses, and Chevrolet tailgating, beer drinking parties from the American alligator. I am attempting to be somewhat sly....but I also cry crocodile tears at times, so what would I know about an alligator? I've never heard the loud infrasound blasts from the mouth of a male alligator seeking alligator sex, but I'd like to hear it, and not see it. You know the drill.
Because I couldn't possibly state is so well, the mysteries of alligator sex determination in pre hatch-lings shall be a copy/paste job below:
The sex of the offspring is determined by the temperature in the nest and is fixed within 7 to 21 days of the start of incubation. Incubation temperatures of 86 °F (30 °C) or lower produce a clutch of females; those of 93 °F (34 °C) or higher produce entirely males. Nests constructed on leaves are hotter than those constructed on wet marsh and, thus, the former tend to produce males and the latter, females. The natural sex ratio at hatching is five females to one male. Females hatched from eggs incubated at 86 °F (30 °C) weigh significantly more than males hatched from eggs incubated at 93 °F (34 °C). The mother will defend the nest from predators and will assist the hatchlings to water. She will provide protection to the young for about a year if they remain in the area. The largest threat to the young are adult alligators. Baby alligators have an egg tooth that helps them get out of their egg during hatching time. Predation by adults on young can account for a mortality rate of up to fifty percent in the first year. In the past, immediately following the outlawing of alligator hunting, populations rebounded quickly due to the suppressed number of adults preying upon juveniles, increasing survival among the young alligators.