Thursday, December 20, 2012

El Lagarto, Gimme some skin!

El Lagarto. Allagarter.  Alligator. 

The Lizard. 

  That's one heck of a lizard...

Knowing smile replete with dozens of impressive ivories, "el lagarto" basks motionless in the early winter sunshine of piedmont North Carolina. Largest of North American reptiles, an alligator this size is a true apex predator with little to fear other than humans with a hankering for accessories fashioned from lizard leather. Hard to imagine this critter losing its skin in a fair fight.

Hunted to near extinction in many areas by the 1960's, federal laws and effective conservation efforts have restored healthy alligator populations in much of their historic range. The Cypress Swamp habitat at the NC Zoological Park allows visitors an opportunity to observe and appreciate these awesome creatures up close.

Looking quite comfortable in its own skin, el lagarto is arguably more like a bird than a lizard in several important ways, including its four-chambered heart.   El pajaro, anyone? El ave, perhaps?


  1. Thanks for the comment! Have you been to the zoo lately? We need to go!