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Alligators

Creatures theme

Large, long lived solitary (adult males), territorial, reptiles. Has a reflexive bite and death roll with the bite alone legendary for crushing bones.

77
games
41
platforms

The first video game about Alligators was released in 1980.

Parker Brothers, Sierra On-Line and Romox has published most of these games

Two species exist currently; American alligators and Chinese alligators (which are smaller).
American Alligators are mostly found in swamps but are also happy to live in lakes and ponds where they have not been eliminated by past hunting. The preferring fresh still water and virtually require access to a marsh or swamp like areas to breed. Sustained populations are found in Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Texas, North and South Carolina, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi. They have also been seen in Tennessee, Kentucky (cryptid), and Virgina where they are still classified as threatened (and illegal to own). For unknown reasons, alligators do not cross to the western shore of the Rio Grand. Chinese alligators are mostly found in the Yangtze river (it is commonly called the Yangtze Alligator). Alligator will take up residence in any water available, including rivers, brackish water, man made pools, and have even been spotted in the open sea (where it can travel, but drinking seawater and eating seawater fish will eventually kill it. It must return to source of freshwater to survive). It will travel across land in search of better water should current conditions deteriorate. This had lead to the misnomer that they are unaffected by pollution because they don't live in waters that get polluted. They in fact leave waters that get polluted. Floods provide natural opportunities for alligators to spread to new areas. For instance, Alligators were not reported in the Mississippi River north of the State of Oklahoma until after several years of unusual flood patterns starting with the storm surge from Hurricane Katrina in 2005. On July 3, 2008, after spring floods, a healthy but hungry alligator was discovered in Iowa (notably too far north to survive the winter it would have faced.) Alligators are lethargic and shy compared to crocodiles, preferring to avoid conflict that won't result in a meal. But their territorial and nest defending instincts will cause them to attack if these behaviors are provoked. However, alligators that have been fed by humans will approach people expecting a meal, one way or another. In contrast to their disposition and generally slow movement, their attacks are extremely fast, aggressive, and deadly. They have been observed launching nearly out of water to catch low flying ducks and successfully running toward and killing large deer on land. An alligator can beat Olympic runners in a short print. An alligator will attempt to eat any live animal it thinks it can kill. Starting with small insects and fish when young up to full sized land animals when they are older. They will eat clarion if they are particularly hungry, but prefer fresh meals. They will also eat their own kind, if the size difference is significant. Alligators are highly specialized for and prefer ambushing animals along shorelines by using their powerful tail to launch out of the water and latch on to the animal's head or neck. But it can tackle food in any situation and is still be very lethal, and also content to twist off a limb for a meal. They seem to be particularly fond of small dogs and will happily endure the presence of people to get one. The young tolerate each other if they are of similar size with larger ones increasingly territorial and aggressive to their own kind. A female alligator will kill any threat to her nest and young; including other male and female alligators who would eat them and humans who get too close. She initially carries them in her mouth from the inland nest and releases them into the water. They will stay close or on their mother for probably a year or even up to to 3 years. When threatened they may hide in their mothers mouth or the mother may gently force them inside for their protection. Mother alligators are surprisingly gentle, even when the babies resist. No mechanism is known to overcome the mothers bite reflex which still occurs when her babies are out of her mouth. The possibility remains that this is an intelligent choice by the mother.

Chinese alligators are endangered.

American alligators were once classified as an endangered species in all states and parishes. Their numbers are sufficiently recovered to be removed from the endangered list in all states with a few parishes, Tennessee, Kentucky (cryptid), and Virgina, still listing them and threatened. In non-threatened areas, wild specimens are still protected by law from being killed for sport, skins (purses and boots etc), and food; to maintain the current wild population, to prevent accidental shootings of the American Crocodile through misidentifications (coastal parishes), for tourism concerns, and/or for cultural reasons. However, when conditions are just right, the population for certain generations in certain areas will increase and a limited number of hunting permits are available for these animals when they reach a certain size. Individual animals however, are not protected if they endanger people or property, or otherwise become nuisance animals. Their natural range has been greatly reduced by civilization and filling in of wetlands. They still remain extinct from many locations and reintroduction to the habitats that still exist could endanger people (or at least dogs). Although wild specimens of American alligators are protected, a significant population of domestic ones are raise in farms or private residents for food, skins, entertainment, and pets.

Caiman are not Alligators
In Brazil, some very alligator looking caiman are sometimes called alligators. But this is not accurate.

Sewer Alligators
Its true, wild Alligators get along quite comfortable in many man made water structures. But mostly in the southwest USA. Actually, under city filthy sewers are not a very inviting habitat when their are so many cleaner, brighter, and more food abundant waters are nearby. Any alligator spotted in a sewer is probably just passing through looking for a better home or a mate, not living there, unless its trapped and can't get to land either. Any pet alligator released in a sewer will be seeking a way out to better waters immediately. These were probably extremely rare occurrences at one time but increasing civilization means increasing man made waterways and increasingly blocked up natural waterways. Crossing land means encountering humans, which neither party wants, so the alligators are seeking man made water routes.
But the Sewer Alligator mythos is not about the American southwest, where they are naturally found. Its about out-of place gators. Most famously, in New York city and occasionally San Fransisco. If a pet alligator were released in a cold environment, the warmer sewers might actually be more inviting. There's plenty of rats to feed the gators and there are warm spots that could easily sustain Caimans and perhaps even alligators (thought this is highly improbably). Of contention is the sewer alligator's choice to never again come to the surface. It seems like they would go after dogs at the very least. It would also be reasonable for them to find their way into above ground waters in the warmer months where they would be seen by people. But the biggist barrior to cold wether sewer gators is the question of nesting matirials. Nest are ussualy constructed in sunlight and of rotting leaves. This causes them to increase greatly in temperature and incubate the eggs. The gators would have to get leaves from the surface somehow and these would be different from the matirails they normally use. They would also have to go against their instincts and make them underground without sunlight. Since mother gators will attempt to kill anything near their nests, such above ground nests would have resulted in incidents by now.

Here is what is known about out-of-place sewer gators. February 1935, some teenagers went to dispose of shovels snow in a sewer and discovered a presumable frozen to death 7 foot alligator. After dragging it out, it's bite reflex was discovered to be fully functional but missed the mark. The teenagers beat it, certainly to death this time using their shovels. The incident was explained as an escaped alligator from a ship that had captured the gator in the everglades. After this event, alligator sightings, especially those by reputable city workers, were extremely numerous. Superintendent of Sewers, Teddy May, did not dismissed the reports as jokes but rather as imaginings by drunk workers. But upon verifying that no sewer workers were drinking on the job, he decided to investigate for himself. He discovered that the many pipes that emptied into trunk lines below major streets had dozens of gators each. According to his report, they averaged 2 feet in length. A comprehensive extermination program of line flushing, shooting, but mostly rat poison (if the gators didn't eat the poison, they ate the poisoned rats or their bodies.) most definitely eliminated the gators. But the next winter would have done the job anyhow. The most logical explanation is that all the small gators were simultaneously dumped into the sewer system and they congregated in the warmest spots where city workers spotted them within days or even hours. Also more logical is that they were not in fact alligators but Caimans; which were heavily imported for the pet trade and slightly more tolerant of cold than alligaotrs (but still very tropical).
But these New York incidents would lead to an urban legend with each teller adding their own bit to the story. Most notably, that the gators were part of a sustained population (considered impossible due to the nesting problem). Pet alligators brought by children from vacation in Florida and being flushed when the family changed their minds. And Albino alligators adapted to underground living.

Parent group

Crocodilians

Platforms

NES 5
C64 4
Atari 400/800 4
Linux 4
Tandy Coco 3
Atari 2600 3
Amstrad CPC 3
Apple II E 3
GB 3
Atari 5200 2
GBC 2
VIC-20 2
Atari ST 2
BeOS 2
Arcade 2
ColecoVision 2
Tiger Game.COM 2
SNES 2
MS-DOS 2
Mega Drive 2
TI99 2
ZX Spectrum 2
MSX 1
ZX 81 1
Mac OS Classic 1
TRS-80 1
Dragon32 1
Windows 1
X360 1
Intellivision 1

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