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An alligator, or just gator, is a large reptile in the Crocodilia order in the genus Alligator of the family Alligatoridae. The two extant species are the American alligator (A. mississippiensis) and the Chinese alligator (A. sinensis). Additionally, several extinct species of alligator are known from fossil remains. Alligators first appeared during the Oligocene epoch about 37 million years ago.

The name “alligator” is probably an anglicized form of el lagarto, the Spanish term for “the lizard”, which early Spanish explorers and settlers in Florida called the alligator. Later English spellings of the name included allagarta and alagarto.

Large male alligators are solitary territorial animals. Smaller alligators can often be found in large numbers close to each other. The largest of the species (both males and females) defend prime territory; smaller alligators have a higher tolerance for other alligators within a similar size class.

Alligators move on land by two forms of locomotion referred to as “sprawl” and “high walk”. The sprawl is a forward movement with the belly making contact with the ground and is used to transition to “high walk” or to slither over wet substrate into water. The high walk is an up-on-four-limbs forward motion used for overland travel with the belly well up from the ground. Alligators have also been observed to rise up and balance on their hind legs and semi-step forward as part of a forward or upward lunge. However, they can not walk on their hind legs.

Although the alligator has a heavy body and a slow metabolism, it is capable of short bursts of speed, especially in very short lunges. Alligators’ main prey are smaller animals they can kill and eat with a single bite. They may kill larger prey by grabbing it and dragging it into the water to drown. Alligators consume food that cannot be eaten in one bite by allowing it to rot or by biting and then performing a “death roll”, spinning or convulsing wildly until bite-sized chunks are torn off. Critical to the alligator’s ability to initiate a death roll, the tail must flex to a significant angle relative to its body. An alligator with an immobilized tail cannot perform a death roll.

Most of the muscle in an alligator’s jaw evolved to bite and grip prey. The muscles that close the jaws are powerful, but the muscles for opening their jaws are weak. As a result, an adult human can hold an alligator’s jaws shut bare-handed. It is common to use several wraps of duct tape to prevent an adult alligator from opening its jaws when being handled or transported.

Alligators are generally timid towards humans and tend to walk or swim away if one approaches. This may encourage people to approach alligators and their nests, which can provoke the animals into attacking. In Florida, feeding wild alligators at any time is illegal. If fed, the alligators will eventually lose their fear of humans and will learn to associate humans with food.

Louisiana (French: La Louisiane) is a state in the Deep South and South Central regions of the United States. It is the 20th-smallest by area and the 25th most populous of the 50 U.S. states. Louisiana is bordered by the state of Texas to the west, Arkansas to the north, Mississippi to the east, and the Gulf of Mexico to the south. A large part of its eastern boundary is demarcated by the Mississippi River. Louisiana is the only U.S. state with political subdivisions termed parishes, which are equivalent to counties, making it one of only two U.S. states not subdivided into counties (the other being Alaska and its boroughs). The state’s capital is Baton Rouge, and its largest city is New Orleans, with a population of roughly 383,000 people.

Judas Priest
https://www.judaspriest.com

Judas Priest are an English heavy metal band formed in Birmingham in 1969. They have sold over 50 million albums and are frequently ranked as one of the greatest metal bands of all time. 

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