American Alligator  Alligator mississippiensis  Coming from the Southern United States these alligators can reach a  length of five metres though three to four is normal. Superbly adapted to swimming with the eyes, nostrils and ears placed on the top of the head enabling the animal to be completely submerge with only these parts showing above the water. When diving the nostrils and ears can be closed and the eyes have a clear membrane which covers the eye for protection. It is possible for them to remain submerged for more than an hour. Young alligators feed on small fish, frogs and insects and the adults mainly on fish though snakes, small mammals, birds and larger dead mammals are also eaten. The female lays a clutch of up to thirty eggs in a mound of grass, leaves and soil which she constructs and guards. Upon hatching she calls or carries the young to the water and keeps them close for the first few months of their life. 11142

alligator head