The Everglades The Everglades is a unique wetland ecosystem on the margin of the tropics. Its slow flow of water supports grasslands, thick forests, and a diverse group of animal, fish, and bird. The Everglades originated between 8000 to 10,000 years ago at the end of the most recent of the ice age. The melting of the glaciers caused the sea levels to rise and form a low-lying basin into a swamp. The climate of the Everglades is tropical savanna caused by hot, wet summers and warm, dry winters. The average annual rainfall exceeds 50 inches. Cypress, mangrove thickets, palms, live oaks, pines and lush vegetation cover the numerous inlets. Wildlife, although severely reduced in number and diversity over the past century, is still abundant and includes alligators, American crocodiles, deer, wading birds, fish, snakes, and the endangered Florida panther. American crocodiles and alligators pretty much rule this amazing ecosystem and are no doubt at the top of the food chain. The American crock and the alligator are very much alike and many ways. The primary distinguishing feature between the two is seen in the snout, because alligators it is rounded but the crocks is more pointed. Also the crocks lower fourth tooth fits into a groove in the side upper jaw and, unlike the alligator, this tooth is visible with the mouth closed. An adult crock will grow to be about 10-12 feet. The diet of the two are a variety of foods including insects, crabs, crayfish, fish, frogs, snails, turtles, snakes, coots, grebes, wading birds, raccoons, otters, deer, and other alligators and crocks. They also feed on dead animals although they are carnivorous, they are occasionally seen uprooting vegetation evidently they do not eat the plant material, and may be catching crayfish, snails, and insects. White pelicans are amazing birds and weighing 10-13 pounds they have the second greatest wingspan of any bird in North America. Its hard…
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