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The American alligator has a large, powerful body, long tail and thick legs. The jaws are powerful and may be among the strongest in the animal kingdom. Adults are generally gray or black while young are usually striped. Adult males average about 3.4 meters (8-11 feet) in length; females are somewhat shorter.
Freshwater environments--occasionally brackish water systems--along the southeast and Gulf coasts of the United States and spreading inland.