Alligators and Crocodiles are the largest living reptiles on earth. They form the last living direct link with the Age of Dinosaurs. Since then, the Crocodilia order has split into three major subfamilies-–Crocodile, Alligator, and Gavial. The seven Alligator species live in the Americas except for Chinese Alligator.
Greatly feared because of Her size and teeth, American Alligator is a shy animal. She prefers to live in her “gator hole” or mucking around the swamp. The chance of being killed by an Alligator is less than being struck by lightening.
Alligator is a keystone species. She creates “alligator holes”--mud hollows in swampy areas. This provides other animals with water, food, and homes. Moreover, Alligator is the largest predator in her area, controlling overpopulation of Deer and other animals. Even Her abandoned nest is used by other animals.
When Alligator young are being threatened, Mother Alligator will attack the intruder. People who are familiar with swamps will warn: never come between a Mother ‘Gator’ and her nest. When Baby Alligator is threatened, He gives a high-pitched croak. Mother Alligator will immediately appear and save Her baby.
Learn the meaning of Motherhood from the Alligator. She has much to teach in the raising and protecting of children.
Alligator’s Teachings Include:
“Alligator is an element of maternal protection and revenge through patience. She claims a connection to the earth mother. She understands deceit and the weather, and has access to ancient knowledge. She offers protection from manipulation and is a creature of initiation.” Copyright: Luminara.
Alligator’s Advice Includes:
“An Alligator is a challenger. It warns of danger. If you happen to see one, study its behavior well.” Copyright: “Spirits of the Earth”, Bobby Lake-Thom.
The difference between Alligator and Crocodile is the snout and the jaw. Alligators have broad snouts, and their teeth in their upper jaw overlap their lower jaw’s teeth.
Conservation Note: Chinese Alligator is an endangered species.
American Alligator Photo courtesy of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service