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.
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.
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.