American Alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) - direct descendant of 45 ft. crocodiles that roamed the Earth with the dinosaurs.
Did you know...
Alligators have a third eyelid called a nictitating membrane, which is transparent and allows them to see underwater.
In their lifetime, alligators can grow up to 2,000 teeth. Imagine being this guy's tooth fairy!
If you thought alligators were around all year, think again. Though the weather is quite nice in the southeastern United States, gators go into hibernation from December to March.
Alligators are now under protection and their numbers, once listed as an endangered species, are slowly climbing. They can live to be between 30 and 50 years old.
Barrier Island's alligator, Carolina, is roughly five years old and small for her age. She's been in captivity her entire life and will probably not grow to normal size. Alligators can get to be up to 10ft in length, but records have shown some to reach up to 19ft. We know we have a gator because Carolina has a rounded snout, only a slight overbite and is fairly dark in colour.