American alligator

Alligator mississippiensis

The American alligator is found throughout Florida in large shallow lakes, marshes, ponds, swamps, rivers, creeks, and canals. Alligators are most common in freshwater but can occasionally be found in brackish and salt water. The largest alligator ever recorded in Florida measured 17 feet and 5 inches and was killed in Apopka, Florida. American alligators are designated a threatened species by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service since alligators are so similar in appearance to the endangered American crocodile. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission considers the American alligator to be a species of special concern.

Photo credit: Tess Korhnak

 

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