Read an Excerpt
American Alligator, Alligator mississippiensis
Size: 10-20 ft. (3-6 m)
Description: Large black reptile is distinguished by its broad, rounded snout.
Habitat: Freshwater lakes, bayous, marshes and swamps.
Comments: Populations have slowly recovered from overhunting in the early 20th century. The endangered American crocodile (Crocodylus acutus) inhabits saltwater shorelines in extreme southern Florida. It is distinguished from the alligator by its green color and narrow, pointed snout.