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Thursday, November 21, 2013

American Alligator: Art Contest Suggestion #1

Each year, we award $45,000 in college scholarships and awards to Louisiana high school juniors and seniors. For our 2014 Art Contest our theme is "Louisiana's Natural Beauty" and our partner is Audubon Nature Institute

Over the next few weeks, we will suggest various Louisiana animals and plants that students may want to use in their artwork entries. Deadline for the contest is February 12, 2014. Click here to learn how to enter.

Scientific Name: Alligator mississippiensis

American Alligator’s are located throughout southern United States and Central America.  Their entire body is covered with large, strong, ossified, horny plates.  An alligator’s tail, which accounts for half of the alligator’s total length, is used for aquatic propulsion. (pictured, Blue Dog and Cajuns on the River by George Rodrigue).

The tail can also be used as a weapon of defense if the alligator feels threatened.  American Alligators can weigh as much as 750 pounds and mostly feed on insects, crawfish, snails, and fish.  They have 80 teeth though alligators do not chew food, they just swallow it.

Alligators live in wetlands, which is a vital habitat that holds the key to their continued long-term survival.  Only two countries on earth have alligators: the United States and China.  The Chinese alligator is endangered.  In the 1970s, the American Alligator was listed as endangered, but the population recovered due to successful conservation efforts and regulations from the state and federal government.

We hope you will considering painting, photograhing or drawing the American Alligator in your art contest entry. Click here to learn how to enter.

American Alligator: Art Contest Suggestion #1
Whooping Crane Part I: Art Contest Suggestion #2 
Louisiana Black Bear: Art Contest Suggestion #3 
Louisiana Live Oak: Art Contest Suggestion #4 

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