Cash, W. Ben Department of Biology, Maryville College, Maryville, Tennessee.
Campbell, Howard W. National Fisheries and Wildlife Laboratory, Gainesville, Florida.
Last reviewed:March 2021
Show previous versions
- Alligator species
- Caiman species
- Anatomical features
- Habitat and behaviors
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
A large aquatic reptile of the family Alligatoridae. Alligators belong to the family Alligatoridae in the reptilian order Crocodylia (Crocodilia). Common usage generally restricts the name alligator to the two extant species of the genus Alligator (see illustration). However, the family Alligatoridae also includes three extant genera (six species) of caimans. With the crocodiles and gavials (gharials), these are survivors of archosaurian stock and are considered close to the evolutionary line that gave rise to birds. See also: Archosauria; Crocodile; Crocodylia; Gavial; Reptilia
The content above is only an excerpt.
for your institution. Subscribe
To learn more about subscribing to AccessScience, or to request a no-risk trial of this award-winning scientific reference for your institution, fill in your information and a member of our Sales Team will contact you as soon as possible.
to your librarian. Recommend
Let your librarian know about the award-winning gateway to the most trustworthy and accurate scientific information.
AccessScience provides the most accurate and trustworthy scientific information available.
Recognized as an award-winning gateway to scientific knowledge, AccessScience is an amazing online resource that contains high-quality reference material written specifically for students. Contributors include more than 10,000 highly qualified scientists and 46 Nobel Prize winners.
MORE THAN 8700 articles covering all major scientific disciplines and encompassing the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology and McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science & Technology
115,000-PLUS definitions from the McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms
3000 biographies of notable scientific figures
MORE THAN 19,000 downloadable images and animations illustrating key topics
ENGAGING VIDEOS highlighting the life and work of award-winning scientists
SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY and additional readings to guide students to deeper understanding and research
LINKS TO CITABLE LITERATURE help students expand their knowledge using primary sources of information