The American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis), or gator, is the most abundant large-bodied predator of the Southeastern United States. Alligators typically inhabit freshwater habitats, such as lakes, ponds, swamps, and rivers. They also occupy saline environments, like coastal marshes and beaches. These large predators can grow to 15 feet in length and can weigh as much as 1,000 pounds. Although, these large sizes are rare in the wild.