Chinese Alligators are found
in slow moving bodies of water such as streams, rivers, ponds
and swamps. For 6 or 7 months of each year these alligators
hibernate within burrowing holes which they have dug. These
holes usually lead to a much larger tunnel complex as the Chinese
Alligators attempt to avoid the cold weather.
Chinese Alligators typically eat small invertebrates
found in the water as well as some fish. However they will certainly
take a rat, duck or other small bird if given the opportunity.
Their teeth are adapted for the crushing action which is required
to get into the hard shells of some of their prey. Chinese Alligators
will usually hunt during the cool evening hours.
These alligators look remarkably like their cousin
the American Alligator, although they are not nearly as big.
Chinese Alligators have a dark background with
lighter bands on top.
While the Chinese Alligator once was found almost
all throughout China its population has rapidly declined. Destruction
of their habitat is the primary cause of their decline as more
and more wetlands are turned into farmland.