Alligators are a type of crocodilian of the family Alligatoridae. The term alligator comes from the Spanish el lagarto meaning "the lizard". This is how the Conquistadores would have designated this reptile by seeing it for the first time. The word lagarto would have been deformed by the British colonists to finally arrive at its current form: alligator. Alligators are characterized by a larger snout than crocodiles. The two species that exist also tend to be darker in color, often almost black, but the color depends a lot on the water. Water loaded with algae produces green alligators; alligators coming from waters with a lot of tannic acid from the trees above them are often darker (but the Chinese alligator has a fairly clear pattern). On average, the weight of an American alligator is 360 kg and its length is 4 meters. The usual lifespan of an alligator is estimated at about 50 years or more. A specimen named Muja who lives at the Belgrade zoo in Serbia since 1937, is at least 70 years old. Another specimen, which died in 2007 at the Riga Zoo in Latvia, was over 72 years old.
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