Definitions

alligator

alligator

[al-i-gey-ter]
alligator, large aquatic reptile of the genus Alligator, in the same order as the crocodile. There are two species—a large type found in the S United States and a small type found in E China. Alligators differ from crocodiles in several ways. They have broader, blunter snouts, which give their heads a triangular appearance; also, the lower fourth tooth does not protrude when the mouth is closed, as it does in the crocodile.

The American alligator, Alligator mississipiensis, is found in swamps and sluggish streams from North Carolina to Florida and along the Gulf Coast. When young, it is dark brown or black with yellow transverse bands. The bands fade as the animal grows, and the adult is black. Males commonly reach a length of 9 ft (2.7 m) and a weight of 250 lbs (110 kg); females are smaller. Males 18 ft (5.4 m) long were once fairly common, but intensive hunting for alligator leather eliminated larger individuals (a specimen over 10 ft/3 m long is now unusual) and threatened the species as a whole. The wild American alligator is now protected by law, but it is also raised on farms for commercial uses.

Alligators spend the day floating just below the surface of the water or resting on the bank, lying in holes in hot weather. They hunt by night, in the water and on the bank. Young alligators feed on water insects, crustaceans, frogs, and fish; as they grow they catch proportionally larger animals. Large alligators may occasionally capture deer and cows as they come to drink; they do not commonly attack humans. Alligators hibernate from October to March. In summer the female builds a nest of rotting vegetation on the bank and deposits in it 20 to 70 eggs, which she guards for 9 to 10 weeks until they hatch.

The Chinese alligator, A. sinensis, which grows to about 6 ft (1.8 m) long, is found in the Chang (Yangtze) River valley near Shanghai. This species is nearly extinct. Caimans are similar, but distinct members of the Alligatoridae family found in Central and South America. There are several species, classified in three genera. The largest grow up to 15 ft (4.8 m) long. Unlike alligators, caimans have bony overlapping scales on their bellies. Baby caimans are often sold in the United States as baby alligators.

Alligators and caimans are classified in the phylum Chordata, subphylum Vertebrata, class Reptilia, order Crocodilia, family Alligatoridae.

Avocado (Persea americana).

Fruit of Persea americana, of the laurel family, a tree native to the Western Hemisphere from Mexico south to the Andean regions. Avocados are extremely variable in shape, size, and colour (green to dark purple). The outer skin may be thin, or coarse and woody. The greenish or yellowish flesh has a buttery consistency and a rich, nutty flavour. In some varieties the flesh contains as much as 25percnt unsaturated oil. Avocados are the principal ingredient of the Mexican sauce guacamole. They provide thiamine, riboflavin, and vitamin A.

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Alligator (Alligator mississippiensis)

Either of two species of long-snouted reptiles constituting the genus Alligator (family Alligatoridae, order Crocodilia). Alligators differ from crocodiles in snout shape and tooth placement. Living in large bodies of water such as lakes, swamps, and rivers, these lizardlike carnivores use their powerful tail for defense and swimming. The eyes, ears, and nostrils, located on top of the long head, project above the water's surface. Alligators dig burrows in which they shelter from danger and hibernate in cold weather. The once-endangered American alligator of the southeastern U.S. may grow to 19 ft (5.7 m) long but usually ranges from 6 to 12 ft (1.8 to 3.7 m) long. The Chinese alligator of the Chang (Yangtze) River region, which grows to 5 ft (1.5 m), is critically endangered.

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Alligator is a village in Bolivar County, Mississippi, United States. The population was 220 at the 2000 census.

Geography

Alligator is located at (34.088482, -90.720690).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 1.0 square miles (2.7 km²), of which, 1.0 square miles (2.5 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.2 km²) of it (5.77%) is water.

Demographics

As of the census of 2000, there were 220 people, 77 households, and 58 families residing in the village. The population density was 223.7 people per square mile (86.7/km²). There were 81 housing units at an average density of 82.3/sq mi (31.9/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 20.91% White, 77.27% African American, and 1.82% from two or more races.

There were 77 households out of which 39.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 35.1% were married couples living together, 35.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 23.4% were non-families. 23.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.86 and the average family size was 3.27.

In the village the population was spread out with 39.1% under the age of 18, 4.5% from 18 to 24, 27.3% from 25 to 44, 16.8% from 45 to 64, and 12.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 29 years. For every 100 females there were 83.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 74.0 males.

The median income for a household in the village was $16,667, and the median income for a family was $17,083. Males had a median income of $21,875 versus $14,063 for females. The per capita income for the village was $9,567. About 41.5% of families and 47.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 69.3% of those under the age of eighteen and 35.3% of those sixty five or over.

Education

The Village of Alligator is served by the North Bolivar School District.

References

External links

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