There are two alligator species: the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) and the Chinese alligator (Alligator sinensis). Notorious for its bone crushing bites, the largest specimen ever recorded was found in Louisiana and measured 19 feet 2 inches. The Chinese alligator is smaller, rarely exceeding 7 feet. The average lifespan for an alligator is 50 years.
American alligators are found in the southeast United States: all of Florida and Louisiana, the southern parts of Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi, coastal South and North Carolina, Eastern Texas, the southeast corner of Oklahoma and the southern tip of Arkansas. American alligators live in freshwater environments, such as ponds, marshes, wetlands, rivers, lakes, and swamps, as well as brackish environments. The Chinese alligator currently is found only in the Yangtze River valley and is extremely endangered, with only a few dozen believed to be left in the wild.
Alligators do not make good pets and require proper facilities to thrive.