Geographical Range Southeastern United States
Habitat Rivers, lakes, ponds, swamps
Scientific Name Alligator mississipiensis
Conservation Status Common

Alligators are efficient predators and eat just about any animal that comes near, including fish, small mammals, birds and reptiles. They rarely attack humans unless provoked.

The alligator is one of the success stories of U.S. wildlife conservation. It was hunted nearly to extinction for its skin, used to make purses, boots and other leather goods. But once laws were passed to ban hunting, alligators made an amazing comeback. Today they are no longer endangered, and some states even allow them to be hunted again.

Did You Know?

The temperature of the nest as the eggs develop determines the sex of the alligator hatchlings.