Alligator Gar

Alligator Gar

Alligator Gar
Atractosteus spatula


CLASS
Osteichthyes
ORDER
Lepisosteiformes
FAMILY
Lepisosteidae

Range

Coastal southeast United States and into Mexico


Habitat

Slow-moving rivers, lakes, bayous, and bays


Diet

Mainly fish; also snakes, turtles, birds, and small mammals

Weight

Up to 300 lbs.

Length

Up to 10 feet

IUCN Status

Not Listed

Facts

  • Of the seven known gar species, the alligator is the largest.
  • This ancient fish has existed for 100 million years.
  • Unlike most of its close relatives, the alligator gar can breathe air and survive above water for up to two hours.
  • It gets its name from its alligator-like snout and its double row of dagger sharp teeth.
  • Their eggs are poisonous to humans.

 

Conservation

Flood control measures have altered their spawning habitats, resulting in population declines. They have also been frequently overhunted.

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