Реферат: Alligator Essay Research Paper The American Crocodile

in the 168 mile network of mangrove-lined cooling canals] . "At first

environmentalists challenged the nuclear power plant at Turkey Point, because

the heated water, that is a byproduct of the plant, seemed sure to kill

seagrasses in Biscayne Bay. The Power company’s solution: an extensive network

of cooling canals where the water would be cooled before it was returned to

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Biscayne Bay. As the canals were dug, the extra sand was piled alongside,

fashioning a perfect place for a crocodile to nest" (1A McClure). [The

Florida Power and Light Company has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in

crocodile research efforts and has abandoned plans for expansion of the power

plant, leaving the crocodile habitat safe for the foreseeable future] (120

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Levy). "Once chased by development into a 20-square mile patch of southern

Dade County and the northern Florida Keys, crocodiles now are reproducing enough

that they are spreading out again. The generally secretive reptiles are showing

up along much of South Florida’s coast, from Sanibel Island to the Bonnet House

in Ft. Lauderdale". [It is the explosion of suitable nesting sites that is

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driving the crocodile's recovery, which saw an estimated 20 nests in 1974 climb

to at least 42 in 1995] (1A). "Nesting is the most reliable way to tell if

crocodiles are re-colonizing an area, so a clutch of eggs discovered on Sanibel

Island [in 1995] was particularly encouraging for researchers, even though none

of the eggs were hatched" (1A). "In [1993] there was a record year at

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Turkey Point, with 12 nests and 155 hatchlings found. And, in [1994] nine nests

and 153 hatchlings were recorded a month into hatching time". "The

crocodiles lay their eggs on land in exposed sites, usually within 30 feet of

the water? Mound nests are composed of sand and earth combined with a great

deal of plant material (grasses, water reeds, and leaves), the decay of which

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releases heat to help insulate the eggs. "The hole is excavated with the

hind feet, and the excavated soil is subfrequently used to cover the eggs.

Mostly as a mound-nesting species the crocodile will first gather a collection

of leaves, grasses, reeds and other plant litter at the selected nesting site

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