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Books > Science & Math > Biological Sciences > Animals > Reptiles & Amphibians > B00F8OIDY8
  1. American Alligator: Ancient Predator in the Modern World
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  2. American Alligator: Ancient Predator in the Modern World

    Delivery: 10-20 Working Days
    Customer Ratings (6 reviews)
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Having survived since the Mesozoic era, alligators teetered on the brink of extinction in the 1960s. Their recovery in the 1970s was largely due to legislative intervention, and today populations are closely monitored throughout their range. American Alligator is the most up-to-date and comprehensive treatment of this resilient relic, a creature with a brain weighing less than half an ounce that has successfully adapted to a changing Earth for more than 200 million years.

Kelby Ouchley chronicles the evolution of A. mississippiensis from "shieldcroc"--the last common ancestor of modern-day alligators, crocodiles, caimans, and gavials--to its current role as keystone of the ecological health of America's southern swamps and marshes. In Florida, the apex predator uses its snout and feet to clear muck from holes in the limestone bedrock. During the dry season, these small ponds or "alligator holes" provide refuge, food, and water for a variety of wildlife. In Louisiana, millions of dollars are spent on the bounty of the non-native nutria that overgraze marsh vegetation, but alligators prey on these coastal rodents free of charge.

The loss of the American alligator would be a blow to biodiversity and an ecosystem disruption affecting all levels of the food chain. While the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service removed it from the endangered species list in 1987 and today regulates the legal trade of the animal and its products, Ouchley cautions us not to forget the lessons learned: human activities, from urban development to energy production, can still threaten the future of the gator and its southern wetland habitat.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

This is an informative and interesting book that I wish was a bit longer as I finished it in a day. It is filled with information about alligators from prehistoric times to present and should be of interest to anyone interested in alligators or their life history. I am an alligator lover and read just about anything that comes out related to them.

I have removed one star because the references to support the information given throughout the book are presented in a mess that the author calls a "bibliographic essay." There are sentences throughout the book that reference research studies and presumed facts about alligators but it is just about impossible to tell where the author got their information from to read further or to know whether it is fact or the author’s personal opinion. It would be much more helpful if the author had ended sentences about research studies with a citation number that you could look back in a reference section and see where that... Read more
Not only is this book full of interesting and up-to-date information about alligators, but it also includes lots of personal stories and exciting experiences of the author. Kelby Ouchley, a retired national wildlife refuge manager and biologist, gives all his scientific writings a personal touch, and his writing is superb. The book is organized so that a person can dip into various topics of interest or read it straight through like a novel. I recommend the second method so you won't miss anything!
I found this book to be most interesting in that it gave me background information I did not have. The next time I see an Alligator I wont be looking at a stranger!!.
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