ALLIGATOR by Jack Denton Scott
Kirkus Star


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How not to confuse an alligator with a crocodile (""which is known to eat people""), the alligators' slaughter and recent, ""astounding recovery,"" and--as is Scott and Sweet's wont--much other significant information, lucidly presented and strikingly pictured. You'll learn: that alligators are native only to the southeastern US and China; that ""the alligator can even regrow the lost tip of its valuable [for-fast-swimming] tail""--but uses only its mouth, not its tail, as a weapon; that it has many features--its tough, thick hide, ""periscope"" eyes, a ""snorkel"" breathing tube, valves that close over its nostrils, ears, and throat when it dives--in common with a submarine. An extended sequence focuses on the reproductive process--the alligators' ""gentle and graceful"" mating (one of many misconceptions exposed), the mother's nest building, the emergence of the young from the eggs. ""Are alligators dangerous? Yes. And no."" If they encroach, advises Scott, they should be removed--not teased or fed. He also describes the state of the alligator population today--hunting, raising in captivity, the new interest in alligator meat. All-encompassing, straightforward, rewarding.

Pub Date: Oct. 22nd, 1984
Publisher: Putnam