Crocodiles and Alligators Overview
| History of reptiles | Future
for alligators and crocodiles | Learn more
about alligators and crocodiles
Although crocodilians, as alligators and crocodiles are called,
inspire fear and fascination in us, few people know that they are
- an important part of the ecology of Florida's wetlands and
- protected by state and federal laws.
The following crocodilians are native to the United States:
An alligator basks in the sun.
History of reptiles
During the 100 million years of the age of reptiles, crocodilians
ruled the earth. Today, only 23 crocodilian species remain, many
of which are in danger of extinction due to conflicts with humans.
Of all reptiles, crocodilians are the largest and have the most
complex behavior, including
- elaborate courtship days
- nest building behavior and
- social rituals.
Future for alligators and crocodiles
As a visible member of the wetland community, the alligator is
a barometer of how well the wetlands are faring. Now that the alligator
and crocodile have been saved from extinction, many difficult decisions
regarding water management and land development need to be made
concerning the future of these species and their habitat.
Learn more about alligators and crocodiles
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