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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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Dusky Pygmy Rattlesnake Southern Swamps

Dusky Pygmy Rattlesnake

Sistrurus miliarius barbouri

Biome: Southern Swamps

Classification: Reptiles

Biography: Like most pit vipers, a pygmy rattlesnake uses the "sit and wait" method of hunting. This snake has been observed in the same location for up to three weeks, patiently waiting for unsuspecting lizards, frogs, rodents, and insects. Also known as a ground rattler, the color... More >

Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake Southern Swamps

Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake

Crotalus adamanteus

Biome: Southern Swamps

Classification: Reptiles

Biography: The eastern diamondback rattlesnake is the largest venomous snake in North America and may reach 8 feet in length. This snake is a type of pit viper and can be identified by the pattern of diamonds along its back, vertical pupils and the rattle at the end of the tail. The... More >

Eastern Indigo Snake Southern Swamps

Eastern Indigo Snake

Drymarchon corais couperi

Biome: Southern Swamps

Classification: Reptiles

Biography: The eastern indigo snake is the longest snake in North America and can reach lengths of over eight feet. This large thick-bodied snake has a glossy blue-black color with scales that are iridescent in the sunlight. Hunting during the day, an indigo forages for a wide... More >

Florida Gar Southern Swamps

Florida Gar

Lepisosteus platyrhincus

Biome: Southern Swamps

Classification: Fish

Biography: The Florida gar is a long slender predatory fish with sharp teeth and an armor of hard diamond-shaped scales. Resembling a floating stick, a gar often drifts motionless among aquatic plants near the water's surface. Like all gars, the Florida gar has an air bladder that... More >

Gopher Tortoise Southern Swamps

Gopher Tortoise

Gopherus polyphemus

Biome: Southern Swamps

Classification: Reptiles

Biography: A gopher tortoise uses its powerful front legs to dig burrows that average about 15 feet long and 6 feet deep. Burrows have a fairly constant temperature and humidity throughout the year and provide protection from extreme heat and cold, drought, wildfires, and predators. A... More >

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