The Truth and Myths About Alligators

Essay by louisianagirlyHigh School, 10th grade April 2004

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The first thoughts to occupy my mind upon hearing the term "alligator" are prehistoric, powerful, and yet graceful in water and beautiful. They have been around longer than many different living creatures that live on earth. It has been said, and I believe, that they are the closest things to dinosaurs that are left on earth. Being born and raised for the most part in Louisiana, alligators were somewhat of a common sight for me growing up. They live in most bodies of water around Southern Louisiana and can appear off-putting to the average out of state tourist. In writing this paper, my goals are to inform people about alligators and explain how and where they live and "what makes them tick", and also to put an end to the myth about alligators being blood-thirsty creatures like so many make them out to be.

Contrary to popular belief, alligators are not ferocious beasts ready to pounce on any human being that crosses their paths.

Alligators are extremely passive and tend to keep to themselves. It is only when they feel threatened by man or when they feel that their young are threatened that alligators tend to become aggressive. Alligator attacks are more common in Florida where big businesses and the urban sprawl of capitalist America moves in on their habitat. Toddlers and children like to play outdoors and at times venture into the reptiles territory and may be attacked and sometimes even killed. Many contractors in Florida build large subdivisions and housing developments in swampland where land is inexpensive and they, in turn, force the alligators out of their natural habitat. This is just one of the ways that humans "move in" and push out nature.... everything from fish and wildlife to trees and plants. These things are happening every...