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Copy of Alligators and Crocodiles
Transcript of Copy of Alligators and Crocodiles
Alligators, caimans, crocodiles, and gharial are all part of the reptile family.
Alligators and crocodiles are cold blooded and rely on the sun, warm rocks, shade, and cool mud to maintain their temperatures. Alligators and crocodiles do look similar but there are several physical characteristics that differentiate the two giant reptiles.
Scientists separate alligators, crocodiles, and their cousins, caimans and gharials, according to differences in their skulls, scales, and teeth. The most easily observed difference between alligators and crocodiles is the shape of the head. The crocodile's skull and jaws are longer and narrower than the alligator's. The American alligator, Alligator mississippiensis, resides primarily in the rivers and wetlands in the southeastern region of North Carolina, but can also be found as far north as the Albemarle Sound. Coastal North Carolina is the northern most range for the American alligator.
In both alligators and crocodiles, the fourth tooth on either side of the lower jaw is exceptionally long. When an alligator closes its mouth, those long teeth slip into sockets in the upper jaw and disappear. When a crocodile closes its mouth, the long teeth remain visible, protruding outside the upper jaw. In general, if you can still see a lot of teeth even when the animal's mouth is closed, you are looking at a crocodile. Alligators have plenty of teeth, but fewer show until the mouth is open. Like sharks, crocodilians never run out of teeth, for sharp new ones grow in as old dull ones are shed throughout the animals' lives. Numerous as they are, crocodilian teeth serve only for grasping, not chewing. These animals gulp their food in large chunks and rely on powerful stomach acids to break it down. Alligators and crocodiles both have thick, bumpy skin but alligators tend to be darker in color. Adult alligators are grayish black while adult crocodiles are light tan to brown in color. Young alligators can be more colorful with yellow or white highlights on a black body.
Another difference between crocodiles and alligators is their choice of homes. Alligators are freshwater reptiles, favoring the rivers, lakes, swamps, and marshes of the coast. On the other hand, crocodiles prefer coastal, brackish, or salt water habitats.
Crocodilians belong to the subclass Archosauria ("ruling reptiles"), which dates back over 180 million years and includes the vanished dinosaurs. As far as we know, crocodilians are the only true archosaurs remaining alive today.
Two crocodilians are native to the U.S., the American alligator and the American crocodile. The range of the American alligator, found only in the Southeastern part of the country, is restrained by cold temperatures and distribution of wetlands. The American crocodile is even more sensitive to cold; its range is limited to tropical areas. The American crocodile is very rare and in the U.S. can be found only in the southern tip of Florida.
Both alligators and crocodiles are protected by state and federal laws. The alligator is listed as a threatened species and the crocodile as endangered under the federal Endangered Species Act. Comparison/Contrast
1. What two topics are compared?
2. What transition words suggest comparisons?
3. How are the two animals similar? Cite evidence from the article and list the paragraph number from which the information is taken.
4. What transition words suggest contrasts?
5. How are the two animals different? Cite evidence from the article and list the paragraph number from which the information is taken. What have YOU LEARNED? WE ALWAYS have to have a SONG!!! CLOSE READING
CODE: As you read, code the text.
+ Ideas or claims with which you agree
- Ideas or claims with which you disagree
? Ideas or claims you doubt, or find confusing.
! Ideas or claims that surprise, anger, or otherwise cause a strong reaction
* important passages, quotes, or facts you want to remember
V Any unfamiliar vocabulary word
ANNOTATE: As you read, demonstrate evidence of “Close Reading”. Mark your reactions as you read. Besides the coding symbols above, you must also include notes in the margins and between the lines. This can be words and phrases, and does not have to be complete sentences.
RESPOND: Now that you’ve “Close Read” the text, WRITE about it.
Your response should include the following:
a. Summarize: What is this text about? Summarize the information presented in four or fewer sentences.
b. Audience: Who the audience is for this text? Was it written for a general audience, or a special audience? And how do you know? (Is there anything in the text that provides clues? For example: Specialized vocabulary? Type of publication?)
c. Purpose: What is the writer’s primary purpose in writing this piece? Please choose one of the following: to persuade, inform, and/or entertain. (P.I.E.)
d. Opinion: What is your opinion about the article? Do you agree/disagree with the author’s thesis? Why? Use evidence from the article to justify your opinion. Compare/Contrast:
Place together characters, situations, or ideas to show common and/or differing features in literary selections. Informational Text Nonfiction:
written primarily to convey factual information. Informational texts comprise the majority of printed material
adults read (e.g., textbooks, newspapers, reports, directions, brochures, technical manuals).