Thursday, March 12, 2009

Everglades National Park

My second day in Florida was also quite intense. We went to the Everglades National Park. For those of you who do not know, it is one of the most famous national parks in the world, and it is an ecosystem of its own. It is quite unique. It is located in the southernmost tip of Florida peninsula and basically, it looks like a swamp. The interesting thing for people not into biology, it is also house to alligators, the only crocodiles in North America and quite a lot of other reptiles, birds, etc. It was quite interesting and enjoyable. Go there if you happen to go to Florida!!

This is what the main place to see alligators looks like. It is like a swamp/lake area with vegetation coming directly out of the water. And alligators everywhere!! It is interesting to remark that alligators can go everywhere, which means they can even access the area where people are looking... That happened and was quite interesting...

Besides alligators there are quite a lot of other animals, like turtles (or are these tortoises?)

And quite a lot of strange birds...

But the highlight is when you get to see something like this:

It is amazing to see so many alligators in there natural habitat!!

And of course, you can have a look at them as close as you dare ;)

After visiting the alligators, we crossed the whole park, around 40 miles, to go see crocodiles. In the way there, the vegetation changed several times, and there were some places to stop and have a look. We stopped in one and there was a path that led us into an island. There we could even see a couple of colorful snakes...

Crocodiles live by the sea, where the Everglades meet the Caribbean Sea. That area is also quite strange, as the swamp merges into the sea, there are small islands like these:

That previous shot was looking into the sea, and the next one is looking towards the Everglades.

Crocodiles are not easy to spot, and your trip there is not always awarded with some sighting... However, we were lucky enough and got to see two of them! The difference with respect to alligators is the shape of the head. Apparently, crocodiles' are less rounded...

Can you tell the difference??

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