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Posted by Bill Moss on April 30, 2003 at 22:19:01:
In Reply to: Gator Temp posted by ReptileMatt on April 30, 2003 at 21:28:59:
If you put a dark object in the Florida sun and measured the temperature of it, you would find that it is very warm, even hot. This is also true of the alligators back while it lays in the sun. The osteoderms in the back (the boney scutes) carry blood and act as sort of a radiator to conduct heat into the body to allow rapid warm up.
When the alligator basks, it moves about from the land to the shade to water in order to regulate it's temperature. Since we can't duplicate the natural conditions indoors, the best we can do is to provide a thermal gradient that allows the animal to choose it's own temperature. It is imperative that the basking area be large enough to allow the animal to move in and around the hottest point of this area. You will see it directly under the hottest point for awhile, especially after it has eaten, then it will move to the fringes of the heat orinto the water as it desires. You will have to monitor the area to know what the temperatures actually are.
:I hear what you guys are saying about the gator temp. But the basking area at 100 seems reallly hot. I mean Fl and other states where these guys live the temp fluctuates a lot. It can get really cold at times in states where gators live. I was under the impression that gators could handle cooler temps. Please set me straight if I am way off!