Crab for Breakfast
A large (10 ft) male American alligator enjoying fresh crab for breakfast. Although gators have no salt secreting glands that allow them to live full time in salt water (unlike 'true' crocodiles that do), they do spend a lot of time in and around salt marshes if they have access to fresh water. There is actually a large population of gators in coastal South Carolina waters....in part due to all the old (colonial period) rice fields and all the new retaining ponds created with the construction of all the coastal housing developments.
This guy was found in Lodge Pond, of the Donnelley Wildlife Management Area. Unfortunately this guy would not turn toward the camera and I had to shoot almost into the sun.....but still a nice if not optimal angle for the image. They have drawn down the water in the pond area and Saturday morning I counted over 45 gators within 50 yards of my car and over 200 wading birds (storks, egrets, night herons, great blues, etc).
Nice large on black - click "L"