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1 November 2018 A Critical Analysis of a Historic Size Record for the American Alligator
Steven G. Platt, Ruth M. Elsey, Thomas R. Rainwater, Mike Fredenberg
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Abstract
We critically evaluated a published historic account purported to be a new size record for A. mississippiensis (American Alligator). According to a newspaper article published in 1885, this large alligator was killed in Natchitoches, LA, and reportedly measured 823 cm (27 ft) in length and weighed 355.3 kg (783.5 lbs). We compared the reported values for total length (TL) and body mass (BM) with those predicted by a growth model describing the allometric relationship between these 2 variables. According to this model, an American Alligator with a TL of 823 cm would have a BM of 2534 kg; alternatively, an American Alligator weighing 355.3 kg would measure only 432 cm in length. Given these morphometric discrepancies, we are unable to accept this record. The largest credible size record for an American Alligator remains an individual measuring 450 cm in length and weighing 458 kg, harvested in Wilcox County, AL, in 2014.
Steven G. Platt, Ruth M. Elsey, Thomas R. Rainwater, and Mike Fredenberg "A Critical Analysis of a Historic Size Record for the American Alligator," Southeastern Naturalist 17(4), (1 November 2018). https://doi.org/10.1656/058.017.0403
Published: 1 November 2018
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