Rare and Endangered Yangtze Alligator
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Rare and Endangered Yangtze Alligator

Yangtze Alligator

Yangtze Alligator got its name since it only lives in middle and lower reaches of Yangtze River. It is one of the smallest types of alligators in the world. Yangtze alligator has been lived on the Earth for more than 0.2 billion years. It is an ancient, rare and endangered reptile.

Yangtze alligator was praised as "living fossil" since some characteristics of the ancient reptiles (such as dinosaur) could be found on Yangtze alligator. Yangtze alligator is of great significance for the research of the biological evolution and paleogeology.

Yangtze alligator has been listed as a state first-class protection animal. It is also on the list of the extremely endangered animal of International Union for Conservation of Nature. Natural reserves and artificial farms for Yangtze alligator are built in Anhui Province and Zhejiang Province to ensure the survival and reproduction of Yangtze alligator.

Due to the expansion of the cultivated land, a lot of wetland was changed into farmland. The number of Yangtze alligators decreased rapidly with the serious damage of the ecological environment. Now the Yangtze alligators only live in Nanling County and Xuancheng County of Anhui Province and there are only small numbers of Yangtze alligators living in Guangde, Jingxian and Langxi.

Yangtze alligator is an ectotherm. It would spend most of his life in the caves on the lake bank which is covered with dense plants. It would get into its cave in late October and get out of the cave in April of the next year. Yangtze alligator's cave is very sophisticated. The caves are even equipped with air vents. Generally, the entrance of the cave is hidden in the thick grass on the water.

Yangtze alligator is used to base in the sunshine and seek food in the night. It would dig its cave between July and September for spawning. The dormancy system, sex differentiation, hungry-endurance and disease-resistance of Yangtze alligator are of great research value. It is said that Nature has endowed man with a precious treasure – Yangtze alligator.

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