Important: In preparation for our annual Run Wild event, Franklin Park Zoo will close at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 6. General admission tickets will be sold through 3:30 p.m.


American Alligator

Alligator mississippiensis

Alligator Gallery

About the American Alligator


Geographic Range:


Class: Reptilia
Order: Crocodylia
Family: Alligatoridae
Genus: Alligator
Species: mississippiensis

American alligators have long "armored" bodies, short legs, and they use their long, flat tails to propel them through the water. They're found in freshwater swamps, marshes, lakes and rivers. Is it a gator or a croc? It's all in the teeth! When their mouthes are closed, you can see the crocodile's fourth tooth on its lower jaw. You won't see this tooth on an alligator.