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Aquatic Biology

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AB - Vol. 18 No. 1 - Feature article
American alligator Alligator mississippiensis (length: 316 cm) equipped with a data logger package. Photo: Yuuki Watanabe

Watanabe YY, Reyier EA, Lowers RH, Imhoff JL, Papastamatiou YP


Behavior of American alligators monitored by multi-sensor data loggers


Crocodilians (such as alligators, crocodiles, and caimans) play important ecological roles in wetland systems around the world. Nevertheless, studying these amphibious reptiles in their natural habitat is difficult, and even basic information such as daily activity patterns are poorly known. The study by Watanabe et al. applies the rapidly growing technology of multi-sensor animal-attached tags to American alligators in the northern Banana River Lagoon, Florida. The study describes the diving and swimming behavior, diel changes in activity level, and horizontal movements of the alligators, which are in many aspects different from those of well-studied, other aquatic vertebrates, including marine mammals, seabirds, and sea turtles.


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