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Old 04-10-2010, 08:46 AM
 
Location: Punta Gorda and Maryland
6,103 posts, read 14,155,268 times
Reputation: 1241

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Everyone often asks about alligators in the Brackish water areas around SWFL. Alligators do go in the brackish water, and saltwater, but you don't see them nearly as often as you do in some areas. And I rarely if ever see one in the PGI canals - that's not to say they don't go in them. But if they do, they can't crawl up on any banks and rest or sun themselves which they like to do, so they really avoid them. Also the canals are pretty high in salt content.

Here is what I found that should help put peoples mind to rest - somewhat.

4. Lingual salt glands: Crocodiles and gharials also differ from alligators and caimans in having functioning salt glands on their tongue. Structurally, these are actually modified salivary glands, and while alligators and caimans also have these structures they appear to have lost the ability to use them for excreting significant amounts of salt. This makes crocodiles more tolerant to life in saline water, including sea water in some species. Moreover, it suggests that crocodiles have a more recent marine ancestry: the ability to migrate across wide marine bodies, and even live there for extended periods, would certainly explain their current wide distribution across different continents. If ancestral species could live in marine environments, this ability has not been completely lost in modern crocodiles. Species such as saltwater crocodiles (C. porosus) can survive for extended periods in tidal estuaries, around the coast, and even out to sea. Alligators and caimans have lost much of this osmotic ability to secrete excess salt through the tongue glands, and can only tolerate it for short periods of time, prefering to remain in freshwater areas when possible. However, it is not unknown for large alligators to find their way into tidal mangroves and very rarely into coastal areas.

A very good article explaining more of the differences can be found if you click the link below.

Crocodilian Biology Database - FAQ - What's the difference between a crocodile and an alligator
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Old 04-10-2010, 04:17 PM
 
1,235 posts, read 3,454,861 times
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If you go out to Myakka State Park, they have airboat tours on the lake & the tour guide is a wealth of information on alligators. I've been here years & learned so many more things about them I never knew before we went. I'm much more comfortable around alligators after going on that tour (in a lake full of alligators )
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Old 03-12-2012, 10:06 AM
 
Location: UK
10 posts, read 104,102 times
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I was at Longboat key swimming with friends two weeks ago. Towards sunset started photographing dolphins swimming just offshore.
When I later examined the photo’s discovered that one of them included a gator swimming down the coast.!!!
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Old 03-12-2012, 10:58 AM
 
Location: Lemon Bay, Englewood, FL
3,178 posts, read 5,378,678 times
Reputation: 1162
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikker View Post
I was at Longboat key swimming with friends two weeks ago. Towards sunset started photographing dolphins swimming just offshore.
When I later examined the photo’s discovered that one of them included a gator swimming down the coast.!!!
Post the picture please! I'm a skeptic. I don't believe this one bit.
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Old 03-27-2012, 08:19 AM
 
Location: UK
10 posts, read 104,102 times
Reputation: 21
Default salt water gator

I have uploaded the pic as longboat key gator.jpg. I have only cropped the pic.longboat key gator.jpg
Attached Thumbnails
Alligators and Salt / Brackish Water-longboat-key-gator.jpg  
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Old 03-27-2012, 08:23 AM
 
Location: UK
10 posts, read 104,102 times
Reputation: 21
Default salty gator

Quote:
Originally Posted by Harbor Hopper View Post
Post the picture please! I'm a skeptic. I don't believe this one bit.
picture posted.
I reported to Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. was told that gators are rarely seen in salt water.
regards
Mikker
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Old 03-27-2012, 11:11 AM
 
Location: Lemon Bay, Englewood, FL
3,178 posts, read 5,378,678 times
Reputation: 1162
Still don't believe the pic is from the Gulf. Of course it only shows the back of a gator in water. Could be from anywhere!
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Old 03-27-2012, 11:41 AM
 
Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
11,835 posts, read 11,233,597 times
Reputation: 26794
I have a hard time believing the gator was swimming in the ocean either. It would have had to swim a really long way to get out of its natural habitat just to get to the ocean.
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Old 03-27-2012, 02:48 PM
 
Location: not where you are
8,459 posts, read 8,614,357 times
Reputation: 7658
It's rare, but it does happen, I remember seeing a story on the animal planet of a gator lost in the ocean.

Below cute little story with video

Expect the Unexpected - Alligator Photographed In The Ocean


some ocean found gator videos for your viewing pleasure


Alligator caught in ocean on Isle of Palms, SC - YouTube

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Old 03-27-2012, 02:50 PM
 
288 posts, read 417,441 times
Reputation: 162
If I see one in the ocean, I am going to drown
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