Primarily found in eastern United States. Native range extends north to North Carolina and south to Florida, west to Texas and east to the Atlantic Ocean.
Primarily aquatic. Most commonly found in freshwater environments such as marshes, swamps, ponds, lagoons, and rivers. Occasionally found in man-made water sources such as pools, fishing ponds, and dammed lakes. Occasionally found in brackish waters near the ocean.
Considered dangerous to humans. Average adult size is 11 feet long and 330 lbs. Tail accounts for half of overall body length. Adult coloration is solid olive-black with no patterning. Short, thick limbs. Rounded snout, upper jaw larger than lower with no visible teeth when mouth is closed.
Learn more with Schechter Natural History's Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians