Behavior of American alligators monitored by multi-sensor data loggers Article

Watanabe, YY, Reyier, EA, Lowers, RH et al. (2013). Behavior of American alligators monitored by multi-sensor data loggers . 18(1), 1-8. 10.3354/ab00489

cited authors

  • Watanabe, YY; Reyier, EA; Lowers, RH; Imhoff, JL; Papastamatiou, YP


  • Fine-scale behavior of crocodilians has rarely been recorded in the field despite the important ecological roles these reptiles play in wetland systems around the world. In this study, we attached multi-sensor data loggers to freeranging American alligators Alligator mississip - piensis in the northern Banana River Lagoon, Florida, to record their diving and swimming behavior, diel activity patterns, and horizontal movements. The alligators repeatedly showed shallow, inactive dives (mean depth: 0.75 m, duration: 310 s), which may represent sit-andwait foraging for prey. The alligators also showed periodic, submerged swimming events (mean duration: 59 s, swim speed: 0.31 m s-1, tail-beat frequency: 0.47 Hz). Based on the occurrence of diving and swimming events, and the activity level inferred from acceleration records, the animals tended to be more active during the day than at night, suggesting behavioral thermo - regulation. An individual with a global positioning system (GPS) logger attached swam northward along the shore, showing the utility of GPS tracking for this species. This study presents basic information for the natural behavior of cro - co dilians, an understudied group among aquatic vertebrates. © Inter-Research 2013.

publication date

  • January 17, 2013

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

start page

  • 1

end page

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