Q:

Do alligators have tongues?

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Quick Answer

There are two species of alligator in the world: the Chinese alligator and the American alligator. Both species have movable tongues attached to the lower jaw. This is one feature that distinguishes an alligator from a crocodile, as a crocodile has an immovable tongue on the roof of its mouth.

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Full Answer

Alligators can stick their tongues out, but crocodiles cannot because of the presence of a membrane in the roof of a crocodile's mouth that holds the tongue in place. Because crocodiles spend the majority of their time in the water, this membrane holding the tongue keeps water out of the airway and lungs. Alligators have a flap of skin called a palatal valve, located at the back of the throat, which allows the alligator to stick out its tongue and snap its jaws open and shut without inhaling water.

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    What is a prehistoric alligator?

    A:

    Of the many giant crocodiles and alligators that lived in prehistoric times, the largest may have been Sarcosuchus, a distant relative of the modern crocodile that lived 112 million years ago. While a complete skeleton does not exist, estimates based on intact Sarcosuchus skulls suggest that individuals may have grown as long as 36 to 39 feet in total length and weighed as much as 18,000 pounds.

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    How many alligators live in Florida?

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    Around 1.25 million alligators live in Florida, which is equal to a little more than 20 percent of the entire American alligator population in the United States. Alligators living in Florida are found in freshwater environments like rivers, ponds, swamps, wetlands and marshes.

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    What is the scientific name for the alligator?

    A:

    The scientific name of the American alligator is Alligator mississippiensis, while the scientific name for the Chinese alligator is Alligator sinensis. The American alligator is part of the Crocodilia order and the Alligatoridae family, and it can be found in the Southern United States.

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    When is the alligator mating season?

    A:

    The mating season of the American alligator typically lasts from April to June. During this time, the overall activity level of alligators increases. Mother alligators move to build nests, while juvenile alligators try to avoid encounters with adult alligators because adult alligators are known to occasionally kill juveniles.

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