Alternate Title

Observations on Territoriality in Alligator mississippiensis, the American Alligator, and Other Points Concerning its Habits and Conservation

Document Type

Short Communication


Reasons are given for believing that charging alligators are serious, especially at their nests and in group defense of the young, rather than going through a “ritualized bluff.” Observations are presented describing the actions of competing alligators and the establishment of territories between them in Mississippi brackish waters. Recent history has shown that alligators can live in natural streams and habitats close to human habitation, if they are not molested. The writer suggests that they should be removed from such environments when they attain a length of nine t o ten feet because at that size they become dangerous. If man exterminates himself the various crocodilian species may survive for another quarter of a billion years as their ancestors have in the past.

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