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Chinese alligator

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Chinese alligator
Chinese alligator3.jpg
Scientific Classification
Binomial Name

Alligator sinensis

Chinese ALLIGATOR.jpg
Wisconsin Milwaukee County Zoo

Chinese alligators are a species of alligator that is native only in North-eastern China. They are also known as the Yangtze Alligator or by the scientific name Alligator sinensis. The Chinese describe these alligators as an ancient dragon from history.

There are about 150 Chinese alligator living in the wild, and it is believed they will extinct within fifteen years. They are being protected by Chinese and international law and there are breeding efforts underway, but their numbers are decreasing rapidly.[1]

Contents

Anatomy

Chinese alligator close-up.

This kind of alligator is one of the smallest species of crocodile. Chinese alligator grows to about 6 feet long (1.8 m). The record says that Chinese alligators are 10 ft long, but this size has never been noted scientifically. Chinese alligators are not big if you compare with American alligator 19 feet (3.5 m). Their skin is stocky and abdomen part is softer than the its back. They have 17 transverse rows of 6 bony scales run along the length of the body. Adults may weigh up to 40kg. Young Chinese alligators have black with bright yellow cross-banding, and are similar to the American alligator. And its nose is slightly pointing to top, and its teeth are to use for crushing something. Their stomach part of skin is ossified, so people don't use their skin as any clothes. These alligators grow grow slowly. But Male alligators grow faster and larger than female alligator. Their legs are squat and tales are really strong. They have a webbing in their foot which make them to swim faster at anywhere. American alligators don't have that kind of webbing on their foot. As they get older, their color changes into dark green/black color. They can have up to 76 teeth. [2]

Reproduction

Young alligator grows really rapidly, and females reach sexual maturity around 4 to 5 years of age. Breeding behaviour begins during the northern Summer, when the temperature is warm enough to reproduce in the night. They are more active at night. Their nets are built with plants. This net is not big enough to stay long for the growing alligators. The nets get built between July and August. They lay eggs almost 10-40 eggs, which hatch 70days. There is a small net waiting for the eggs, which is made from decaying vegetation. The female alligators have to care their nets more than anything until they are enough to live themselves. The Average size of clutch in their captivity is about 15 eggs. Females alligators sometimes miss breeding one year. [3]

Ecology

Freshwater swamps are home to the Chinese alligator.

Chinese alligator prefers slow-moving freshwater rivers and streams, like lakes, ponds and swamps. Also, they can be found in low-elevation agricultural. Sometimes, in a tree farm. The place where alligators live is higher than 100m from the sea. Alligators spend half year for hibernating(6~7 month). They sleep in a complex-planned place, which is burrow. They make emergency tunnel for a sudden disaster, which is mostly caused by weather of extreme climate of northern China. The burrow's temperature sometimes fall below 10º C. But usually stays above that. As its name, Chinese alligators ranged through most of China. The habitats, like pond and swamp had been reduced for years, so as the habitat's decreasing, number of Chinese alligators is decreasing too. But few of wild nests are being found until now. The reason of the decreasing number of Chinese alligator is one of their prey, which are mostly caused by poisoned rats. [4]

Other

But most farmers want these creatures to be gone. Because they eat their ducks and some foods that people save in the storage. They believe that alligators are destroying the nature and farmland. Those people should be taught how valuable they are and how to treat them without any harmful works. There are 23 species of crocodiles in the world, it concludes crocodiles, alligators, caimans, gavials, and false gavials. [5]

Gallery

References

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