Famous for their strong chompers, alligators are native to both the United States and China. Learn more about these reptiles at these sites, but please keep your hands inside the tour bus at all times!
Here at Animal Diversity Web, from University of Michigan, start with two pages of alligator pictures (most of which can be re-used for educational fair use) and then click on over to the Information tab. This one-page alligator report includes details of geographic range, habitat ("freshwater swamps, marshes, rivers, lakes"), physical description, food habits, and more. "American alligators are the most vocal of all crocodilians, and communication begins early in life, while alligators are still in eggs."
"American alligators have very short legs, but they are still able to run very quickly over short distances." BioKIDS, based on work supported by the National Science Foundation, is another project from the University of Michigan. This one-page alligator guide from their Critter Catalog includes the usual facts, such as where alligators live, how long they live and what they eat. Click on any of the underlined words for a pop-up definition, and be sure to look at the pictures (the link is on the left-hand menu.)
Defenders of Wildlife is a nonprofit organization that champions "science-based, results-oriented wildlife conservation." Their alligator facts page includes fun Did You Know? factoids ("Although alligators have no vocal cords, males bellow loudly to attract mates and warn off other males by sucking air into their lungs and blowing it out in intermittent, deep-toned roars."), a range map, and details about their status as a threatened species. Scroll down to the bottom of the page for a link to their American Crocodile Fact Sheet.
"Alligators are large, semi-aquatic carnivorous reptiles with four legs and a huge tail." With a short introduction and a labeled printout suitable for coloring, Enchanted Learning brings alligators to life for preschoolers and elementary school kids. This page explains the difference between alligators and crocodiles (alligators have a wide, short snort compared to the narrower, long crocodile snout) and links to a labeled alligator printout. Unfortunately, many of the offsite links are broken.
"Brought back from the brink of extinction, over a million of these reptiles survive today. Now the main threat to alligators is habitat destruction, caused by such human activities as draining and developing wetlands." Scroll through the alligator facts (by clicking on the red arrows) and then enjoy the audio and video snippets on the next tab. Use the last tab to print both a 3x5 collector's card and the text portion of this Creature Feature.