Alternative Phrasing

I spent four years working for a local zoo and giving presentations about animals, and adaptations to all age groups, sometimes multiple ages at a time. If I were to tell you that alligators are covered in osteoderms, have double camouflage, webbed feet, and nictitating membranes on their eyes, palatal valve’s in the throat, Would you know what I was talking about?

Let me break it down a bit. Alligators are relatives of the extinct dinosaurs and date back about 350 million They are of course reptiles that have scales, are cold-blooded or now called ectothermic (ecto for outside since that is where they get their warmth from outside the body), and lay eggs. But alligators are far more awesome, they have double camouflage, they have 2 different ways to disguise themselves. The first is their dark blackish green color on their backs to blend in with the muddy water, the second is their yellow bellies, to help them blend with the sun if a critter was looking up from the bottom of the water. Webbed feet or flipper feet like a scuba diver or a duck to help them swim, and their very powerful tail helps them to push through the water like a paddle on a boat. Since alligators spend most of their lives living in water, they have special goggles built into their eyes called nictitating membranes, which are an extra eyelid to help them see underwater. They also have a flap of skin in their mouth, called a palatal valve, to keep them from swallowing too much water when they grab for their food, and they have a built in nose clip to hold their breath for hours at a time


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