Animal Diaries Archive
20 June 2008
The past few weeks have been a busy time for the croc team. Along with all the day to day maintenance and demonstrations, the boys (and Lauren) also had to find time to microchip our six year old American Alligators. This was a great opportunity for the newest members of the team, Jack and Lauren, to gain some valuable hands on experience as not only were the alligator’s micro-chipped, but they were also sexed. This involves two people to handle the alligator while a third person, inserts their little finger into the cloaca; a small pocket located underneath the base of tail that houses the alligators reproductive organs.
While the alligator was restrained the vets inserted a small micro-chip just behind the back left leg. When the alligators are hatchlings they all have individual markings making individual identification possible. By the time the alligators reach the size of about five feet in length their pattern is less discernable making identification difficult. As adults they are mainly uniform black in colour which means we can no longer use colour or pattern as a means of identification. So micro-chipping is necessary as it allows us to keep our records very accurate as well as making identification of the alligators a lot easier.
All 13 alligators were sexed and micro-chipped in about one hour. With all the six year olds sexed and micro chipped we now move onto the three year olds. Watch this space for further info and always remember, CROCS (and American Alligators) RULE!
Our Amazing American Alligators
Crocodilians are grouped into one of three families. Crocodylidae, Alligatoridae and Gavialidae. The American alligator belongs to the sub family Alligatorinae ...more