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Alligators in Georgia

Alligators in Georgia

Alligators in Georgia

Alligators in Georgia

Alligators in Georgia

I once knew this man, Jack Diamond. He used to live in my town down south. The last time I saw him, he was lying in a swamp, gasping for air. A long time ago, in a cabin surrounded by trees. He told me a story one night when we drank ourselves to sleep. It was a story about a man, my father, and alligators in Georgi

Alligator

The name "alligator" is derived from "el lagarto" (the lizard), a term given to these large reptiles by the Spaniards when they first discovered them in Florida. The large lizards are today known as North America's largest reptile. Male gators average 11-12 feet long and weigh between 400 and 500 pounds. Females follow close behind, averaging 8-9 feet in length. The largest gator ever recorded, however, was a 19-foot-2-inch-long male found in Louisiana back in the early 1900s. Large gators like the record in Louisiana are often believed to be hundreds of years old because of their immense size and strength. In reality, though, the life span of a gator is about 30-35 years in the wild or 50 years in captivity.

The distribution range of alligators in Georgia has changed very little over the past several decades. While alligators have increased in number, the areas they occupy have remained virtually the same. Georgia's alligators can be found primarily south of the fall line (roughly from Columbus to Macon to Augusta), their natural geographic range in this state. The range has extended above the fall line just a little with some gators occurring in Harris County and others just north of Augusta. There are even a few gators in Atlanta and northwest Georgia from time to time, but these are a result of people transplanting them. Although gators are cute when they're young and seem fun to take home, they grow quickly, losing their appeal as a pet, and former pet owners sometimes release gators into the wilds of a metropolitan area. Thus, gators occasionally show up where they don't belong. (Source: www.sherpaguides.com)

Live

The final measurements on the gator: 11 feet 4 inches long, 550 pounds. (The longest ever caught in Georgia was 13 feet 10 3/4 inches. The heaviest, 680 pounds.) After Shepard skinned Wilheit’s alligator back in Dublin, the hide proved big enough for two pairs of boots, for Wilheit and his wife, with enough belly to cover a chaise lounge for the living room. And of course, there is forty pounds of meat in the freezer, waiting to be battered and deep-fried for the Georgia– Florida game.

Alligators are long-lived animals whose life spans can exceed 60 years. Alligators are �cold-blooded,� meaning that they are ectothermic animals that cannot regulate their own body temperature, but assume the temperatures of their surrounding environment. To warm themselves, alligators bask in the sun, which is when they are frequently observed on the banks of water bodies. On hot summer days they can sometimes be seen basking with their mouths open. This is a cooling mechanism essentially equivalent to a dog panting. Ecologically, alligators are important predators and create important habitat for other wildlife by digging holes that hold water during droughts. (Source: srelherp.uga.edu)

 

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