Alligators were designated the Louisiana state reptile in 1983. I mean, seriously, what else was the state reptile gonna be? The word alligator is derived from the Spanish term el lagarto de Indias (lizard of the Indies). Alligators are basically huge, armored lizards, as their name suggests. Technically, alligators are crocodilians, one few surviving animal orders from the Mesozoic Era, so if an alligator tells you its ancestors hung out with the dinosaurs, it might be telling the truth. Of course, you probably shouldn’t be talking to alligators, especially if they’re telling you to step closer.

You can find alligators in North Louisiana during most of the year, although they hibernate if it gets cold enough. Alligators' hobbies include hunting fish, turtles, snakes, small mammals, birds, and carrion, from which they may contract the West Nile virus, sunning on banks and logs, and lurking.

You can read more about alligators and West Nile at the Center for Disease Control website. You can prevent contracting the disease from alligators by keeping a respectful distance from them.

Alligator blood has the ability to decimate bacteria, which explains why they never clean their houses. Researchers are exploring uses of alligator blood in antibiotics.

Where to Find North Louisiana Alligators

If there is water, there's a good chance there's an alligator. You can find alligators in lakes, ponds, and rivers throughout North Louisiana. It may take a little more time searching if you're looking for the talking species, though. I hear they are even more endangered than the regular gators.