Animals / Reptiles / Chinese Alligator - Endangered Asian Gator

Chinese Alligator - Endangered Asian Gator


open mouth

 

The Chinese alligator is one of only two alligator species in the world (the other is the slightly larger American alligator). It grows to be about 5 feet (1.5 meters) to 7 feet (2.1 meters) long and 100 pounds (45 kilograms), and is found only in China; usually in the Yangtse River. In contrast to its American relative, the Chinese alligator has a fully armored body, possessing boney scales even on its belly. Its snout is slightly upturned at the end. Like many reptiles one of the favorite pastimes of the large Asian lizard is basking in the sun.

 

 

teeth head

 

on a log

 

Once found all over the country, the Chinese alligator can now only be found in the aforementioned Yangtse River in the provinces of Jiangsu, Zhejiang. This tiny distribution is the result of the species being critically endangered. As a result of wetlands being destroyed, and rats (a primary food source for the species; along with snails, frogs, and fish) being poisoned, the Chinese alligator population has dwindled down to a mere 200 individuals, with only about 50 being of mature age. On the bright side, the population of Chinese alligators in captivity is over 10,000 worldwide; this still isn't that many, but it's enough that zoos and reserves have been able to start placing captive-born specimens in the wild as a means of replenishing the population. Chinese alligators are also known for their tremendous eyesight, and the large multi-chambered burrows that they nest in. With any luck, the conservation efforts will work, and Chinese alligators will stick around.

 

large specimen

 

 

 

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