National Geographic: Realm of the Alligator


they just tried to get all

the people off

when the National Parks Fish

and Wildlife took it in 1937.

Although parts of Okefenokee can be

traversed on foot,

it is better explored by boat.

The waters of Okefenokee look like

polished ebony,

dark but highly reflective.

It is a landscape of mirrors,

fascinating and surreal.

Kent Vliet is from

the University of Florida.

He's an expert on Okefenokee's most

famous resident, the alligator.

You know there's one right

in front of us, John?

Yep. I can see that one.

The ability to "call" alligators by

making certain curious sounds

is a valuable skill for

inquisitive biologists.

It's coming.

Whoa, hey.

Do they have binocular vision?

Can they see three dimensions?

Only a little small fraction of

their total visual field

just in front of their nose is binocular

Is he coming too close?

No, he's fine.


Why do they have the yellow

ring around their eyes?

Is there a function that's

known for that?

A number of aquatic animals have

coloration around the eye like

that hippopotamuses do.

It might have something to do with

magnifying the light going into the eye

Sort of the reverse of a football player

putting black grease under the eye.

To make you see better in fact.

He's going to go down.

There he goes.

How long will they stay under water?

They can stay under a good long time.

When they're resting in the afternoon,

they go down for at least 15 minutes.

He's up again, look.

Yeah, there it is.

In the wintertime they may

stay down for days.

Nobody knows.

For days and days?

You mean they really...

You mean they hibernate?

Well, yeah, in the sense

it is a hibernation.

Their metabolism slows down so much

when they're that cold that they

just require almost no oxygen.

And they don't eat, obviously,

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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