Evolution of the Alagator

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  • Topic: Alligator, Crocodile, Alligatoridae
  • Pages : 3 (945 words )
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  • Published : May 17, 2013
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Evolution of the Alligator

Evolution of the Alligator
One of the most highly evolved animals on the Earth today is the alligator. Found mainly in the swamps and warmer climates of the earth, these predators are one of the few animals left that existed when the dinosaurs roamed the planet. Over the millennia, they have evolved into one of the most feared and interesting creatures today. However, the modern alligator is a far cry from its ancestral roots. Today, by looking at the anatomy of the alligator there are many similarities between alligators and humans. (Jones, 2011) Most of their internal organs are located in roughly the same place as a human. The liver and spleen are just above the stomach while the intestines are below, and their spine runs down the middle of their back. The most interesting feature of the alligator is the mouth. The most noted feature often is the long nose and mouth. The nose and mouth is long for two reasons. First, it allows for the alligator to breathe while the rest of his body is underwater, and second to handle the force load of its powerful jaws when it closes. The bite of an alligator has been measures at over 2,100 pounds. That’s the equivalent of a car landing on top of a human. (Viegas, 2003) The mouth has evolved of the centuries to handle the pressure exerted. It is believed that alligators were first primarily land creatures that ranged in size from cats to bears. At the time, there were also some species that lives mostly on plants rather than animals. In both cases, they had two unique openings in their skull that compensated for the powerful bite. (RomerianReptile, 2009) The alligator started to leave their land based homes for more marine live around 200 million years ago. This brought about the most visible change in alligator physiology. Their bodies became longer and their limbs were spaced out more to help move in the water, and this habitat change also led to what we see today of the long,...
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