CLASSIFICATION OF ALLIGATOR
PHYLUM :- CHORDATA (Notochord, dorsal tubular nerve cord present and gill slits present )
Group :- CRANIATA ( Definite head. Cranium with brain present )
Sub-phylum :- VERTEBRATA ( vertebral column present)
Division :- GNATHOSTOMATA ( Jaws and paired appendages present )
Super class :- TETRAPODA ( Paired limbs, lungs, bony skeleton and cornified skin)
Class :- REPTILIA ( Scaly vertebrates with right and left aortic arches. Single condyle, pulmonary respiration. Embryo with amnion and allantois ).
Sub-class :- DIAPSIDA ( Skull with two temporal openings separated by postorbital and squamosal ).
Order :- CROCODILIA ( Body and head large. Jaws powerful. Skin thick and leathery. Tongue nonprotrusible, Heart 4-chambered ).
Family :- CROCODYLIDAE ( Snout not distinct from the rest of the skull ).
Genus :- Alligator
Alligator is found in China and North America.
HABIT AND HABITAT
Inhabits shallow water and on slight disturbance buries in sand.
GENERAL CHARACTERSTICS OF ALLIGATOR
- Alligator resembles superficially with Crocodylus.
- Body measures 3 to 4 metres in length. The upper part steel-grey and sides olive green. Body divisible into head, neck, trunk and tail.
- Body is covered with thick leathery skin containing scutes. The dorsal bony scutes do not articulate with each other. The ventral scutes are with or without very little ossification. Mandibular symphysis is short extending only to the level of 4th and 5th tooth. In water eyes and nostrils are exposed.
- Head is broad and snout bluntly rounded. Jaws long, powerful, rimmed with numerous, bluntly conical teeth which are unequal. Teeth 17-20/17-22 on each side. The first and fourth mandibular teeth
fit into the pits of upper jaw.
- Tongue not protrusible. Head contains mouth, nostril and eyes.
- Small ear opening is protected by a flap of skin and nasal bones divide nasal aperture.
- Forelimbs and hind limbs short, pentadactyl and ending in toes with webs in between.
- Tail long, heavy compressed.
- Heart 4-chambered with separate ventricles. Bladder absent.
- Eggs are laid in nests.
The most obvious way to discern the two reptiles is to stare down their sinister snouts. Alligators have U-shaped faces that are wide and short, while crocodiles have slender almost V-shaped muzzles
This reptile has peculiar scales and above features hence it is Alligator.
- Book of Practical Zoology VERTEBRATE by S.S.LAL – Rastogi Publications.
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