Skip to main content

Alligatoridae

Alligatoridae (alligators, caimans; class Reptilia, order Crocodylia) A family of crocodilians that have a broad, flat snout in which the fourth tooth of the lower jaw fits into a pit in the upper jaw and cannot be seen when the mouth is closed. There are seven freshwater species, all occurring in the New World except Alligator sinensis (Chinese alligator). The best known is Alligator mississippiensis (American alligator) of the southern USA, sluggish alligators, up to 5.8 m long, that move slowly on land, hissing if surprised. Their nest mound is guarded by the female and is opened as the young begin to ‘peep’ at the time of hatching. The other five species are known as caimans (caymans). The common name, spectacled caiman, of Caiman crocodilus is derived from the large, bony ridge between its eyes; its belly has large, overlapping, bony scutes.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Alligatoridae." A Dictionary of Zoology. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Aug. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Alligatoridae." A Dictionary of Zoology. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 21, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/alligatoridae

"Alligatoridae." A Dictionary of Zoology. . Retrieved August 21, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/alligatoridae

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.