Saturday, October 10, 2009
Sunday, October 4, 2009
Alligator Gar Profile
The prehistoric relatives of this megafish inhabited many parts of the world, but today gars live only in North and Central America.
Of the seven known gar species, the alligator is the largest, reaching up to ten feet (three meters) long and tipping the scales at up to 300 pounds (140 kilograms). These menacing-looking behemoths are generally olive green or yellow and have a heavily scaled body. A tooth-filled mouth and wide, alligator-like snout give the species its name.
These freshwater giants may look fierce, but attacks against people are unknown. They can pose a passive danger, though—the fish's eggs are poisonous to humans if ingested.
Adult gars have few natural predators, although alligators have been known to attack them. Young are preyed upon by larger fish. Alligator gars prey on fish, but they are opportunistic and have been known to feed on everything from waterfowl and small turtles to carrion.
Alligator gars are found throughout much of the coastal U.S.