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Southern Swamps

Southern Swamps

The Florida Everglades, or "Grassy Waters" as it was called by the Native Americans, is a vast prairie of sawgrass. Within and surrounding this freshwater marsh are islands of hardwood trees called hammocks, palmetto pine scrub, cypress heads, and coastal mangroves, each a natural and distinct community in itself.

In this semi-tropical environment, there are annual wet and dry seasons, which shape the life cycles of the region's plants and animals.

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Alligator Snapping Turtle Southern Swamps

Alligator Snapping Turtle

Macrochelys temmincki

Biome: Southern Swamps

Classification: Reptiles

Biography: The alligator snapping turtle is the largest freshwater turtle in North America. Primitive in appearance, it can be recognized by its large, heavy head, and the three rows of spiky ridges along its massive shell. It is sometimes confused with the common snapping turtle,... More >

American Alligator Southern Swamps

American Alligator

Alligator mississippiensis

Biome: Southern Swamps

Classification: Reptiles

Biography: American alligators are important members of their ecosystem, and are regarded as keystone species. Many animals are affected by their existence. Young alligators are prey for wading birds, turtles, snakes, mammals, and larger alligators. Alligators over 4' are at the top... More >

Barred Owl Southern Swamps

Barred Owl

Strix varia

Biome: Southern Swamps

Classification: Birds

Biography: A barred owl is the second largest owl in Pennsylvania, surpassed only by the great horned owl in size. It is easily recognized by its stocky body, large dark brown eyes, and the puffy round head with no ear tufts. The horizontal bars on the throat and upper breast, and... More >

Dusky Pygmy Rattlesnake Southern Swamps

Dusky Pygmy Rattlesnake

Sistrurus miliarius barbouri

Biome: Southern Swamps

Classification: Reptiles

Biography: Known as the "patient hunter of the pines", and
like most pit vipers, these small rattlers use the "sit and wait" method of hunting. In the wild, they have been observed in the same location for up to three weeks, patiently waiting for unsuspecting lizards, frogs, rodents... More >

Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake Southern Swamps

Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake

Crotalus adamanteus

Biome: Southern Swamps

Classification: Reptiles

Biography: This is the largest of all North American rattlesnakes and can reach lengths of 33-72 inches. It is found throughout the Everglades. These snakes hide beneath stumps and in holes in the ground during the day, coming out to feed on rabbits, mice, rats and birds at night. You... More >

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