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Alligator Gar

Description

A prehistoric fish that resembles an alligator in the head and snout. Unlike other gar, has a wide mouth and two rows of teeth lining their jaws. Has really hard, diamond-shaped scales. The average adult is 100 to 150 pounds and 4 to 6 feet. Can grow up to more than 300 pounds and 10 feet long.

Range and Habitat

Found throughout the southeastern United States in warm, freshwater lakes and rivers. Some along coastal areas can tolerate higher salt levels and are found around barrier islands and nearshore rigs. Often found in waters with low oxygen levels because they can gulp air and diffuse the oxygen through the tissues of their swim bladder.

Behavior

Late to mature, they generally do not spawn until age 10. Spawning starts around late spring/early summer in shallow areas when water temperatures near 70°F. Young feed on small insects and larval fishes. As they age, they feed mostly on fish but may also consume birds, amphibians, reptiles, and small mammals. 

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