Alabama‘s gulf coast beaches and southern charm make it a popular vacation destination. If you ask any Alabama native what they love most about their state, they will give you a long list of reasons. In addition to being a great vacation destination, Alabama also has some pretty interesting wildlife. Its beaches, mountains, and flatlands have an extremely diverse topography. As a result of its geographical features and warm climate, Alabama has the most ecological diversity in the country. Have you ever wondered what the wildlife of the state is like? Here are 8 of the largest animals in Alabama that you might run into on your next trip there.
8. Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake
In terms of size, the eastern diamondback rattlesnake (Crotalus adamanteus) is the world’s largest rattlesnake species. Although the average adult length is four to five feet, it can reach lengths close to seven feet. A local population of eastern diamondback rattlesnakes can be found in the lower coastal plains of extreme south Alabama and the red hills beyond.
It is common to see eastern diamondback rattlesnakes in southern and south-central Alabama. They prefer areas that are wooded, marshy, and surrounded by forest, as well as deserted farmlands and overgrown fields.
7. Gray Fox
The gray fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus) is a mammal closely related to the domestic dog. It belongs to the family Canidae as well as coyotes and wolves. It is estimated that an adult gray fox weighs between seven and 13 pounds and will stand approximately 16 inches tall at the shoulder when fully grown.
Gray foxes rarely grow larger than 44 inches in both head and body length, and the length of their tail can reach up to 16 inches. It is possible to find the gray fox all over the state of Alabama, as it is found in all parts of its range. It should be noted, however, that their preferred habitat includes thick brush, wooded lowlands, and swampy areas.
In Alabama, bobcats can be found in all parts of the state. A bobcat‘s favorite habitats are canyons, rocky outcroppings, and densely wooded uplands, but they also roam swamps, hardwood forests, and shrub areas. At maturity, this medium-sized wildcat weighs 30 to 40 pounds and measures 31 to 48 inches long. There is no doubt that this is one of the largest animals in the state. We wouldn’t want to come across a bobcat if we were alone.
There have been reports of coyotes not only in the woods of Alabama but also in the suburbs. A large number of them are found in every county in Alabama, as well as in major cities. The coyote is an extremely adaptable animal that can live almost anywhere and eat anything. They can live in all kinds of habitats, including mountainous terrain, forests, agricultural fields, prairies, swamps, and even marshes.
In Alabama, female coyotes usually weigh between 25 and 35 pounds, and it is not uncommon for males to reach 45 pounds. In terms of size, a coyote weighing 45 pounds is a very big animal! Coyotes are one of the largest animals in Alabama.
4. Wild Boar
As a result of Spanish explorers introducing domestic stock centuries ago, wild boars, also called feral swine, remain prevalent in the Southeast today. Male hogs are generally larger than female hogs, usually weighing between 200 and 450 pounds as adults. An adult male can be up to three feet tall at the shoulder and five feet long from tip to tail. The length of their tusks usually ranges from three to five inches. It is estimated that females weigh between 100 and 300 pounds and have tusks that are relatively smaller than males. These swines are big and are currently found in almost every county in Alabama.
3. American Black Bear
In terms of size, the black bear is the king of mighty and ferocious predators. On average, American black bears on the East Coast are heavier than those on the West Coast. The average male black bear in Alabama weighs 250 pounds, with the heaviest recorded weight being 880 pounds. Female black bears weigh 150 pounds, with some weighing over 300 pounds. Adult black bears are approximately 4 to 7 feet long and 2 to 3-1/2 feet tall at the shoulder. There are black bears throughout the state, but they are most common in Baldwin, Mobile, and Washington counties.
The southern half of Alabama is home to an estimated 70,000 alligators. Their habitat includes rivers like the Escambia and Perdido and lakes like Lake Eufala, Lake Forest, or Big Creek Lake. In terms of their size, the American alligator is considered one of the world’s largest reptiles. On average, males can grow up to 19 feet in length and weigh up to 900 pounds, while females tend to be slightly smaller in comparison. Among the largest alligators in Alabama, one weighed 1,011.5 pounds and measured 15 feet 9 inches long!
1. Rice’s Whale
Alabama is home to incredibly large animals like this. Only one baleen whale lives year-round in the northern Gulf of Mexico, the Rice’s whale. Despite having fewer than 100 individuals, the new species – recently named after American biologist Dale Rice – is rarely spotted. As well as this, they feed deep under the water around DeSoto Canyon, less than 100km (62 miles) south of Mobile, Alabama. Baleen whales can grow up to 41.5 feet long and weigh between 13.87 and 27 metric tons.
The photo featured at the top of this post is © BGSmith/Shutterstock.com
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