Yangtze Alligator
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Yangtze Alligator

Yangtze Alligator

Yangtze Alligator (also named Chinese Alligator) is a special alligator only lives in China. It is one of the smallest alligators in the world. It is an ancient, rare, precious and endangered reptile. Yangtze Alligator is praised as "living fossil" and it is of great significance for the research of the evolution of ancient reptile and paleogeology. Yangtze Alligator has been listed as an animal under state first-class protection and hunting is strictly forbidden. To ensure the survival and reproduction of Yangtze Alligator, natural reserves and farms for them have been built in Anhui Province and Zhejiang Province.

Morphological Characters of Yangtze Alligator

Generally, an adult Yangtze Alligator is about 1.5 meters long and weights about 36 kilograms. It is not as big as Nile crocodile or Thailand crocodile. It has a relatively big head. The mouth of Yangtze Alligator is characterized by short and blunt. It was called Local Dragon since it looks like dragon.

Yangtze Alligator is made up of head, neck, body, arms and legs, tail. It is fully covered by scales. Its back is dark brown or dark yellow and its abdomen is grey. Its tail is long and flat. Its tail acts as its weapon to defense itself and attack its enemies; it could also help to push forward its body in the water. The arms and legs of Yangtze Alligator are short but powerful. Those morphological characters make Yangtze Alligator could adapt itself to both the life on land and in water.

Distribution of Yangtze Alligator

Yangtze Alligator is mainly distributed at parts of Anhui Province, Zhejiang Province, Jiangxi Province and the lower reaches of Yangtze River. The only reserve for Yangtze Alligator – Xuancheng National Natural Reserve for Yangtze Alligator was built in Anhui Province. The wild Yangtze alligators are mainly live in Xuancheng Area and Wuhu Town of Anhui Province.

Living Environment of Yangtze Alligator

Yangtze Alligator lives in fresh water. It likes to inhabit in lakes and marshes. It is good at digging holes with the help of its head, tail and sharp claws. Its cave always locates at the bottom of the marsh or deep in the reeds. There are even entrances, side entrances and ventages in its cave. Its cave is as complicated as a maze. Maybe just the maze style cave helps Yangtze Alligator survived the cold winter and avoid being attacked by its enemies. It is feed on fish, frog and clam. It was thought to be harmful animal and always be hunted since it would attack the poultries and destroy the crops sometimes and it looks pretty ugly.

Living Habits of Yangtze Alligator

Yangtze Alligator could live in water and land. It is fierce by nature. It spawns in July and August. It would cover its eggs with weeds and take care of them until the eggs incubated. It will start its hibernation in the cave from October and get out the cave in April or May of the next year.

Yangtze Alligator likes quilt so it always stay in the cave during the day and hunt for food during the night. It also likes to lie on the beach near its cave to enjoy the sunshine. Yangtze Alligator has big stomach and good appetite. It could store large amount of nutrient in its body to support him survive the long hibernation.

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