American alligator

A conservation success story, this species was brought back from the brink of extinction

Gareth Rasberry

From a few thousand animals in 1966 to more than a million today, the species’ wild population has increased thanks to the Endangered Species Preservation Act, State, and federal safeguards, habitat preservation initiatives, and decreased demand for alligator items. From the perspective of conservationists, the species is now classified as being of the least concern.

The appearance of their snouts makes it simple to identify between an alligator and a crocodile. Crocodiles have a longer, pointed, V-shaped snout, but alligators have a wider, shorter, rounded, U-spaced snout. There are a few instances where this rule is not true, but for the most part, it is.


Population est.
United States
1.25 million

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Terrestrial / Aquatic

Altricial / Precocial

Polygamous / Monogamous

Dimorphic (size) / Monomorphic

Active: Diurnal / Nocturnal

Social behavior: Solitary / Pack / Herd

Diet: Carnivore / Herbivore / Omnivore / Piscivorous / Insectivore

Migratory: Yes / No

Domesticated: Yes / No

Dangerous: Yes / No