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Alligator sinensis FAUVEL, 1879

IUCN Red List - Alligator sinensis - Critically Endangered, CR

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Higher TaxaAlligatoridae, Crocodylia, crocodiles (alligators)
Common NamesE: Chinese alligator, T'o, Yow Lung, Yangtze alligator
G: China-Alligator
Chinese: 扬子鳄 
SynonymAlligator sinensis FAUVEL 1879
Caigator sinensis — DERANIYAGALA 1947
Alligator sinensis — WERMUTH & FUCHS 1979
Alligator sinensis — WU et al. 2001 
DistributionChina (areas around the lower Yangzi River in Jiangau, Zhejiang, Anhui)

Type locality: "Chinkiang" [=Zhenjiang], Kiangsu Province, People's Republic of China; reported as "Wuhu, Anhwei" Province, by Pope 1935, Nat. Hist. Cent. Asia, Am. Mus. Nat. Hist. 10:65.  
Reproductionoviparous. Exhibits temperature‐dependent sex determination (TSD) fide Cornejo-Páramo et al. 2020 (and references therein). 
TypesSyntype: MNHN-RA 6494 (MNHN catalogue indicated syntype not holotype) 
Comment“There is confusion concerning the type locality. Fauvel 1879 based his description on 6 specimens: the first specimen (Fauvel 1879:28), from Wuhu, was dissected and later mounted for display at the Shanghai Museum. He then sought "... another specimen to be forwarded to Paris, in order to have the species named. This appeal was duly responded to on the 3rd of October last, when we received a second specimen from Chinkiang." Four additional specimens, were purchased in Shanghai (Fauvel 1879:29); two live specimens reputed to have been collected in Poyang Lake, Kiangsi Province, and two skins with skulls attached lacking exact provenience. Presumably the one shipped to Paris, clearly intended to be the holotype, was the specimen from Chinkiang (present English transliteration is Zhenjiang, Chinkjang, or Chenchiang). It arrived at the MNHN in good order (Fauvel 1879:36f). Because it possesses morphological characteristics superficially reminiscent of caimans, Deraniyagala 1947 placed the Chinese alligator in a new genus, Caigator. That placement has not been supported by any later author, since some of those characteristics are present in varying degrees in the American alligator” (after King & Burke 1989).

Genomics: this is one of the species selected by the Genome 10K consortium (G10K) for complete genome sequencing. 
EtymologyNamed after its occurrence in China. 
  • Barbour, Thomas 1922. Further remarks on the Chinese Alligator. Proc. New England zool. Club 8: 31-34 - get paper here
  • Berlig, K. 2008. Die sachgerechte Haltung gefährdeter Wildtiere durch Privatpersonen als aktiver Beitrag zur Arterhaltung am Beispiel des China-Alligators (Alligator sinensis). Elaphe 16 (1): 24-27
  • Chen, B. & Liang, B. 1992. Preliminary Research on the Function of the Eggshell in the Chinese Alligator (Alligator sinensis). Asiatic Herpetological Research 4: 132-136 - get paper here
  • Chu-chien, Huang 1982. The Ecology of the Chinese Alligator and Changes in its Geographical Distribution. In CROCODILES, Proceedings of the 5th Working Meeting of the Crocodile Specialist Group of the Species Survival Commission of the IUCN and Natural Resources, 1980. IUCN PUBLICATION NEW SERIES: 54-62 [ISBN 2-8032-209-X]
  • Cornejo-Páramo, P., Lira-Noriega, A., Ramírez-Suástegui, C. et al. 2020. Sex determination systems in reptiles are related to ambient temperature but not to the level of climatic fluctuation. BMC Evol Biol 20: 103 - get paper here
  • Deraniyagala 1947. Proc. Third Ann. Sessions Ceylon Assoc. Sci., Pt. 2:12
  • Fauvel, A. A. 1879. Alligators in China: Their History, Description and Identification. J. North-China Branch Royal Asiatic Society (Shanghai) , N.S. 13: 1-36 - get paper here
  • Fishman, H.K.; Mitra, J.; Dowling, H.G. 1968. The karyotype of the Chinese alligator (Alligator sinensis). Mammal. Chrom. Newsl. 9: 81-82
  • Garrick, L.D. 1975. Structure and pattern of the roars of Chinese alligators (Alligator sinensis Fauvel) Herpetologica 31 (1): 26-31. - get paper here
  • Gu, H.; Ruan, R. & Zhang, Z. 1992. Electrocardiogram Research on the Chinese Alligator (Alligator sinensis). Asiatic Herpetological Research 4: 137-140 - get paper here
  • Hsiao, S.D. 1934. Natural history notes on the Yangtze alligator, Alligator sinensis Fauvel. Peking Nat. Hist. Bull. 9: 283-292
  • Hu, Yun; Wu, Xiao-Bing 2010. Multiple paternity in Chinese alligator (Alligator sinensis) clutches during a reproductive season at Xuanzhou Nature Reserve. Amphibia-Reptilia 31: 419-424 - get paper here
  • Huang, Lin, and Zhang 1986. Oceanol. Limnol. Sinica 4 (4): 360-371.
  • Meurer, A. 2015. Private Pflege und Nachzucht bedrohter Krokodile. Terraria-Elaphe 2016 (1): 66-74 - get paper here
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  • Olbort, S. 2003. Eingewöhnung und Haltung von Alligator sinensis FAUVEL 1879. Elaphe 11 (4): 40-46
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  • Peng, Yan; Peng; Xiaobing Wu; Yiyang Wang; Zhigang Jiang; Changming Gu and Chaoling Wang 2006. AFLP Analysis of Genetic Variation on Captive-Bred Chinese Alligators: An Application to Select Individuals for Release. Zoo Biology 25:479–490 - get paper here
  • Piras, Paolo; Luciano Teresi; Angela D. Buscalioni and Jorge Cubo 2009. The shadow of forgotten ancestors differently constrains the fate of Alligatoroidea and Crocodyloidea. Global Ecology and Biogeography (Global Ecol. Biogeogr.) 18: 30–40 - get paper here
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  • Thorbjarnarson, John B; Xiaoming, Wang 1999. The Conservation Status of the Chinese Alligator. Oryx 33 (2):152-159 - get paper here
  • Thorbjarnarson, John; Wang, Xiaoming; Ming, Shao; He, Lijun; Ding, Youzhong; Wu, Yuelong; McMurry, Scott T. 2002. Wild Populations of the Chinese Alligator Approach Extinction. Biological Conservation 103:93-102 - get paper here
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  • Wang, P.C. & Zhang, J.H. 1993. Resting Metabolic Rate in Three Age-groups of Alligator sinensis. Asiatic Herpetological Research 5: 112-116 - get paper here
  • Wermuth,H. & Fuchs,K. 1978. Bestimmen von Krokodilen und ihrer Häute. Gustav Fischer Verlag, Stuttgart - New York, 100 pages, [ISBN 3-437-30268-X]
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  • Wu, Xiao-Bing; Wang, Yi-Quan; Zhou, Kai-Ya; tong, Zong-Zhong; Nie, Ji-Shan; Wang, Chao-Lin and Xie, Wan-Shu 2001. Systematic relationships of 8 crocodilian species suggested by 12S rRNA gene sequence. Acta Zool. Sinica 47 (5): 522-527
  • Wu, Xiao-Bing; Wang, Yi-Quan; Zhou, Kai-Ya; Zhu, Wei-Quan; Nie, Ji-Shan; Wang, Chao-Lin; Xie, Wan-Shu 2002. Genetic Variation in Captive Population of Chinese Alligator, Alligator sinensis, Revealed by Random Amplified Polymorphic DNA (RAPD). Biological Conservation 106:435-441 - get paper here
  • Xu, Qianghua and Shengguo Fang 2006. Variable number tandem repeats in the mitochondrial DNA control region of the Chinese alligator, Alligator sinensis. Amphibia-Reptilia 27(1):93-101 - get paper here
  • YANG, Haiqiong; Lan ZHAO, Qunhua HAN and Shengguo FANG 2017. Nest Site Preference and Fidelity of Chinese Alligator (Alligator sinensis). Asian Herpetological Research 8 (4): 244-252 - get paper here
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  • Zhu, H. et al. 2009. Isolation of polymorphic microsatellite loci from the Chinese alligator (Alligator sinensis). Molecular Ecology Resources, doi: 10.1111/j.1755-0998.2008.02359.x - get paper here
  • Ziegler, T. & Olbort, S. 2004. Genitalstrukturen und Geschlechtsunterscheidung bei Krokodilen. Draco 5 (20): 39-47 - get paper here
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