You can take the GRITS out of Florida, but you can't take Florida out of the GRITS!

Monday, May 3, 2010

A Salty Gator!

From the Sun Sentinel:

Diver has rare gator encounter -- on an ocean reef

Laz Ruda , a South Florida photographer, recently captured a rare sight on camera in the Atlantic Ocean off Palm Beach: an American alligator in a reef about a mile offshore.
Gators are routinely found in freshwater lakes and rivers, although they can tolerate salt water, but only for a short span of time, reports
Ruda said he was 60 feet below the ocean's surface when he saw the alligator. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission was called out to investigate, but the alligator had swum away by then and could not be found, reports
A University of Georgia website called EcoView states that alligators leave freshwater habitats to travel overland during droughts, in search of mates, and to avoid confrontations with larger male alligators. They will enter saltwater habitats on occasion and have even been found a mile or more out to sea. They do not live in the ocean but can tolerate saltwater for hours or maybe days without a problem.
Watch the salt water alligator video encounter on Ruda's website
Photo: Laz Ruda --


Floridacracker said...

Wow. Pretty unusual!

Island Rider said...

We have gators on our island that cross in and out from fresh to salt water, but I didn't think one would live in such deep water, salt or fresh.

Suwanee Refugee said...

I've done a bit of scuba diving in my short life. I would definitely be taken by surprise at this creature laid up on the bottom.