American Alligator Definition | Characteristics & Facts

American Alligator

American Alligator

American Alligator Definition

The American alligator is a rare and unique reptile characterized by its lack of pigmentation, resulting in white or very pale skin, scales, and eyes.

American alligator General Characteristics & Facts


American alligators are exceptionally rare in the wild. Their lack of natural camouflage makes them more vulnerable to predators, and they have reduced chances of survival.


Due to their vulnerability in the wild, American alligators are often found in captivity, where they can be properly cared for and protected.


American alligators, like regular alligators, can grow quite large. Adult alligators can reach lengths of 10 to 15 feet (3 to 4.5 meters) and weigh several hundred pounds.


Alligators, includin American alligators, are primarily found in freshwater environments such as swamps, marshes, lakes, and rivers in the southeastern United States.


Fish, birds, small mammals, and other reptiles.


Like regular alligators, albino alligators are typically solitary animals and are most active during warm weather.


American alligators are not considered a separate species or subspecies but rather a unique variation of the American alligator. While their rarity makes them captivating to observe, conservation efforts focus on preserving the overall population of American alligators and their natural habitats.

Educational Value

American alligators are often exhibited in zoos, aquariums, and wildlife facilities to raise awareness about albinism and its effects on animals.

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Physical Characteristics of American Alligator

  1. Lack of Pigmentation: The most noticeable feature of American alligators is their lack of pigmentation, which gives them a white or very pale appearance.
  2. Pink Eyes: American alligators have unique pink or reddish-colored eyes due to the absence of melanin. These bright eyes stand out against their white skin and are a striking characteristic of their albinism.
  3. Pale Scales: The scales of American alligators are also light-colored, often appearing almost translucent due to the lack of pigmentation. This makes them stand out even more against the dark-colored scales of regular alligators.
  4. Reduced Camouflage: Unlike regular alligators, which have dark skin that provides excellent camouflage in their natural habitats, albino alligators lack this advantage.
  5. Size: American alligators can grow to be quite large, similar to regular alligators. Adult alligators can reach lengths of 10 to 15 feet (3 to 4.5 meters) and weigh several hundred pounds.

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Scientific Classification of American Alligator

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Reptilia

Order: Crocodylia

Family: Alligatoridae

Genus: Alligator

Species: Alligator mississippiensis

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American Alligator FAQs

What does American alligator eat?

  1. Fish
  2. Birds
  3. Amphibians
  4. Reptiles
  5. Small Mammals
  6. Invertebrates
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