What comes to your mind when you hear the name Alligator Gar? The dangerous predators? Are they actually a crocodile or a fish? – As one of the largest freshwater living animal, let’s get to know about these maxi-fish!
What is Alligator Gar?
Alligator Gar (Atractosteus spatula) is one of the largest fish in fresh water. Gars are often referred to as “primitive fishes” or “living fossils” because they have retained some morphological characteristics of their early ancestors.
Habitat & Characteristics
Native to the Southern United States, Alligator Gar lives in reservoirs and lakes. Sometimes, they will appear in backwaters of lowland rivers, brackish waters of estuaries and bays, too.
Has a torpedo-like body shape, their color is brown or olive color. The color is fading to the ventral surface with a light gray or yellow tint.
Don’t look like the other fish which have scales, their scales is more thick and have excellent protection from threats. This animal can grow up to 3 meters and weighs 127kg.
Not A Threat To Humans
Their sharp teeth definitely looks terrifying! But in fact, these fish can be very slow and docile.
The Alligator Gars can be very slow and hesitant to catch the prey. If they feel there is resistance, then their bait or mass will be dropped.
Their teeth are designed to hold prey and not to tear prey into small pieces like a shark. Therefore, the alligator gar does not prey on something that this animal cannot swallow.
According to the IUCN Red List, the Alligator Gar is not on the Endangered species. You still can find these fish easily both in the wild or conservation institution such as Bali Safari Park.