Chinese alligator

At the Detroit Zoo
The Chinese alligator can be found inside the Holden Reptile Conservation Center, located near the middle of the park.  There, visitors can learn about the 70 different species (and approximately 180 individuals) of reptiles at the Detroit Zoo, one-fifth of which are considered threatened or endangered in the wild.

The Chinese alligator differs in some ways from its American counterpart. Its head is larger and its snout is raised slightly compared to the American alligator. The Chinese alligator also has bony plates, or osteoderms, on its belly that the American alligator lacks.


Scientific name: Alligator sinensis
: Asia
: Rivers, ponds and swamps
: 4.5 to 5 feet
: Some have weighed as much as 85 pounds, but few weigh over 50 pounds.
: Mollusks, such as snails and mussels, as well as fish
: Nesting begins in July and goes into August; females will lay about 10-50 eggs in a nest consisting of plants and mud.
: 50 years in the wild; 70 years in captivity
Conservation Status: Critically Endangered



Some writers believe that the mythical Chinese dragon was, in reality, the Chinese alligator.

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