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Although few alligator gars approach the record size of 10 feet and 300 pounds, they are still among the largest freshwater fish in North America.  Gars can live in water that is too low in oxygen for many fish, by gulping air at the surface into their lung-like swim bladders.

alligator gar swimming in manatee springs

Did You Know?

The rare ganoid scales of the alligator gar are so hard that humans have used them for breastplate armor, arrowheads, luggage, and even to cover the blades of wooden ploughs.

Quick Facts

Latin Name:
Lepisosteus spatula

Rivers, lakes and other bodies of fresh and brackish water

Up to 10 ft

25 to 50 yrs

Zoo Location:
Manatee Springs

Fish and other small animals