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Welcome to the Alligator Habitat

When early Spanish settlers came to the United States, they came across an enormous reptile that resembled a giant lizard. In Spanish, the word lizard is el lagarto. When English settlers heard the Spaniards referring to this creature as “el lagarto,” they interpreted the name as “alligator,” which is where this animal got its name. At one time, alligators were endangered, but this species has made a remarkable comeback. This animal is the state reptile of three states—Louisiana, Florida, Mississippi. The alligator was designated as the state reptile of Florida in 1987.

What Can I Do Here?

There are many things that you can do here. Please begin by watching the welcome video for an introduction to the alligators (simply click on the video on the top of the media bar to the right). You can also use the media bar to look at pictures and watch other videos of alligators at the museum.

After watching the video, you can use the left-side menu to:

  • Learn more by reviewing the READINGS about the alligators.
  • Browse the OBSERVATIONS to learn what others have found out about the alligators at the museum.
  • Collaborate with other students by joining in the DISCUSSION about the alligators.
  • Record your thoughts and questions, as well as the things you’ve learned about the alligators, in your JOURNAL.
  • Browse PHOTOS of the alligators.
  • Use the ANALYSIS tool to answer your research questions.

How Do I Select A Different Habitat?

If you want to learn more about the nature of science or a different museum habitat, you can click on the habitat map to navigate anywhere.