Chinese Alligator (Alligator sinensis)

Chinese Alligator
photo by J. Patrick Fischer

Common Name: Chinese Alligator or Yangtze Alligator
Scientific Name: Alligator sinensis
Family: Alligatoridae – Alligator family
Locations: China
Size: 5 – 7 feet (1.5 – 2.1 meters)

The Chinese Alligator lives in slow moving, fresh water streams, rivers, lakes, swamps, and canals of the lower Yangtze River. While this might make you think it spends its summer days floating in the water, and soaking up the sun, the gator spends a lot of its time in its underground burrows. However, these aren’t your regular underground burrows, they have pools inside of them.

The Chinese Alligator is one of the two living species of the genus Alligator, the other being the American Alligator (Alligator mississippiensis). The Chinese Alligator is smaller than the American, has more of an upturn snout, and bone-stomach plates called osteoderms.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List assesses the Chinese Alligator as Critically Endangered. There is thought to be less than 100 mature individuals of the species left in the wild. How did this happen? First, in the past, the crocodile has been hunted a lot, like a lot. Next, lets destroy most of its habitat and pollute it. Amazing, impressive, wow no wonder why its critically endangered. Thanks China!

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