They were once on the verge of extinction, but have made a remarkable recovery due to strict conservation measures and are no longer endangered. The American alligator is listed as threatened due to its similar appearance to the American Crocodile, which is endangered.
They inhabit rivers, lakes and freshwater wetlands, such as marshes and cypress swamps from Texas to southeastern and coastal North Carolina.
They have an ‘armored’ body with a muscular flat tail. Skin on the back has embedded bony plates called osteoderms or scutes. A long snout with upward facing nostrils at the end lets them breathe while the rest of the body is underwater.