Louisiana’s White Alligators

In 1987 some trappers found a nest of 18 white alligators; they were all males. This is the first known discovery in the world of truly white alligators. There are old eastern legends about good luck being associated with them, but these legends may have been related to albinos. These Louisiana white alligators are not albinos. They have blue eyes and the skin looks like white chocolate. The skin has white pigment as opposed to no pigment in albinos.

The white skin is due to a genetic mutation.  The Audubon Zoo in New Orleans, where they are housed, has been trying to get new whites by breeding these males to traditional females. Only 8 of the original 18 males are left. At approximately 2,000,000 Louisiana has more alligators than any other state.

Alligator ancestry goes back 200 million years. Their powerful jaws can be held shut with a man’s hands or duct tape, but the closing power of these same jaws is 3.5 metric tons. His tail can break your leg. The record length is over 19 feet long. Males at 12 feet and over 500 pounds are fairly common.

To read more interesting information about the White Alligator use the internet.

 

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