Reptile d'Amérique du nord, pouvant atteindre deux mètres de long, dont le museau est plus large que celui des crocodiles.
ETYM Spanish el lagarto the lizard (el lagarto de Indias, the cayman or American crocodile), from Latin lacertus, lacerta, lizard. Related to Lizard.
1. Either of two amphibious reptiles with shorter broader snouts than crocodiles.
2. Leather made from alligator's hide.
Reptile of the genus Alligator, related to the crocodile. There are two species: A. mississipiensis, the Mississippi alligator of the southern states of the US, and A. sinensis from the swamps of the lower Chang Jiang River in China. The former grows to about 4 m/12 ft, but the latter only to 1.5 m/5 ft. Alligators lay their eggs in sand; they swim well with lashing movements of the tail; they feed on fish and mammals but seldom attack people.
The skin is of value for fancy leather, and alligator farms have been established in the US. Closely related are the caymans of South America; these belong to the genus Caiman.