Monday, 27 January 2014

Record Total Lengths of the American Alligator in Florida - via Herp Digest

Southeastern Naturalist:Volume 12 Issue # 4:N9-N17. December 2013

Arnold M. Brunell 1,*, J. Patrick Delaney 1, Richard G. Spratt 2, Dwayne A. Carbonneau 3 and Jason E. Waller 3

1 Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, 601 W. Woodward Avenue, Eustis, FL 32726.

2 Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, 8864 C.R. 247, Lake Panasoffkee, FL 33538.

3 Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, 1239 S.W. 10th Street, Ocala, FL 34471.

* Corresponding author - Arnold.Brunell@myFWC.com.

Abstract
Claims of unusually large crocodilians are often questionable because of the lack of physical evidence and a verification process. We report on the longest Alligator mississippiensis (American Alligator) that has been officially measured in Florida. The state record for the longest alligator is 435.5 cm (14 ft 3.5 in) and is only the third specimen in Florida known to exceed 426.5 cm (14 ft). Discussion is presented about the measurements taken, techniques used to obtain the measurements, and personnel required for officially recognizing record specimens. We emphasize the importance of having qualified biologists verify measurements using standardized techniques and recommend that other states within the alligator's range develop a protocol similar to Florida's for measuring exceptionally large alligators.

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