20 September 2011

Alligator gar

Alligator Gar ("Gator Gar"), Atractosteus spatula, is a primitive ray-finned fish. Unlike other gars, the mature Alligator Gar possesses a dual row of large teeth in the upper jaw. Its name derives from the alligator-like appearance of these teeth along with the fish's elongated snout...

Alligator Gar are found in the Lower Mississippi River Valley and Gulf Coast states of the Southeastern United States and Mexico as far south as Veracruz... They have also been known historically to come as far north as central Kansas, Nebraska, Kentucky, Ohio, Iowa, and west-central Illinois. 
Photo ("10 feet (3.0 m) alligator gar caught at Moon Lake, Mississippi in 1910"): D. Franklin (Library Services, American Museum of Natural History).


  1. And they are ugly devils who can live up to two hours out of water thanks to their swim bladders that can act as primitive lungs. They are also in high demand in the orient as status aquarium fish. Several guys were busted in Tx and Fla for taking them out of the Trinity River and shipping them to Japan without the proper permits.


  2. I stepped on a gar skeleton once. pointy stuff. glad i didn't step on this guy.

  3. There was an excellent River Monsters episode on the alligator gar. I was stunned to see that there were these monsters in American waters, although I guess not of this size any more.

  4. In Brazil , we have one similar fish .They are found in the Amazon and the Pantanal.His name is "Pirarucu".




  5. When I was a kid, we spent the summers fishing in muddy Smith Lake. When the Illinois river flooded, the lake filled and brought along a fresh supply of catfish and what we called Billy Gars. I hated those nasty things. I don't know if they are exactly the same, but they look and evoke the same emotions as your featured critter.


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