Category: Lakes

Underwater Fact 156

Alligators are social creatures and often stay in groups called congregations.

Alligators are cold-blooded reptiles that can’t control their body temperature internally. To regulate heat they have to go for a swim to cool down or lie in the sun to warm up.

Image © Chris Gillete for ‘The Earth’

There are two different types of alligator, which vary in size. The American alligator lives in the southern United States and can grow up to 3.4 meters (11.2 ft) long and weight nearly half a ton (1,000 lbs. or 454 kilograms). Chinese alligators are smaller, growing to around 1.5 m (5 ft) long and usually weighing around 23 kg (50 lbs).
They are traditionally found in rivers, lakes, ponds and swamps, but are now confined mostly to ditches and ponds on agricultural land. Much of their habitat has been converted to rice paddies.

Underwater Fact 154

Female platypuses produce milk, but their mammary glands don’t protrude as nipples. Instead, they secrete milk much like our skin secretes sweat.

Baby Platypus   © Faye Bedford via LandLearn NSW

The Platypus is a unique Australian species. Along with echidnas, Platypuses are grouped in a separate order of mammals known as Monotremes, which are distinguished from all other mammals because they lay eggs.

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Underwater Fact 131

Unlike most fishes, the Australian Lungfish has the unique ability to breathe air using a single lung.

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Underwater Fact 130

Pygmy Geckos have water repelling skin that allows them to walk on water.

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Underwater Fact 121

A hippo’s sweat is bright red in colour and protects the animal from UV rays and infectious bacteria.

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Underwater Fact 119

Whirligig beetles have two pairs of eyes — one pair for looking underwater and one for looking above the waterline.

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Underwater Fact 116

The only known venomous mammal in Australia is the Platypus. It is an egg-laying mammal that spends most of its life underwater.
The Platypus is a true evolutionary survivor and has extraordinary skills from electroreception for orientation to a poisonous spine for defence and breeding purposes.

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Underwater Fact 113

The New Zealand Longfin Eel utilises special tubes that channel water into its nose, which enables this species to have a greater sense of smell than Great White Sharks.

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Underwater Fact 111

One of the largest freshwater fish in the world is the Giant Freshwater Stingray. Its poison is most like that of a Rattlesnake.

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Axolotls are amphibians that never grow out of the larval stage, so they remain aquatic for their whole life. As relatives of the on land living salamanders, they are famous for their regeneration ability which enables them to re-grow entire limbs and even portions of the brain and spine.

Axolotl   © Sophia Volzke

The name “Axolotl” comes from the Aztec language, “Nahuatl” of which the most commonly accepted translation is “water-dog”.

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