alligator

alligator n1 Usu |ˈælɪˌgeɪtɚ|

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B Senses.

1 also in var combs: A large salamander n 1: usu the hellbender n 1; occas a water dog n 1 (here: Necturus spp), or tiger salamander n. ?obs Cf lizard n 2

1804 Michaux Voyage à l’Ouest 279 Allegheny Mts, Dans les torrens on trouve une espèce de Salamandre appelée par les habitans Alligator de montagnes; il y en a qui ont jusqu’à deux pieds de long. [=In the rapid streams occurs a kind of Salamander which the locals call Mountain Alligator; some are as much as two feet long.] 1807 Barton in Philadelphia Med. & Phys. Jrl. 2nd suppl 196, A very large species of Salamander has been discovered in the lakes Ontario, Erie, &c., and also in the water of the Ohio and Susquehanna. . . This animal, which is known to the inhabitants of the western parts of the United-States, by the names of Alligator, Hell-Bender, &c., is purely aquatic. [DARE Ed: This salamander, which Barton proposes calling Salamandra horrida, appears to be a conflation of the hellbender (Cryptobranchus alleghaniensis) and the mud puppy (Necturus maculosus).] 1812 Barton Memoir 5 wNY, wPA, wVA, WV, This [=“alligator”], I think, is its most common appellation in the states of New-York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia: and accordingly, when the people in the western parts of these states, tell us, that the “Alligator” does certainly inhabit the waters of their country, and that it is even a common animal, we may be assured, that they allude to no other animal than to that (or to a species of the same genus), which is the subject of this memoir. 1820 Rafinesque Annals of Nature 4, Necturus luteus. . . . It is similar to the foregoing [= Necturus maculosus], found also in the Ohio, length about two feet, vulgar names yellow eel or yellow puppet or yellow alligator. [DARE Ed: Probably the same as N. maculosus.] 1826 Amer. Jrl. Science 11.278, Menopoma Alleghaniensis. . . Hell-bender. Mud-devil. Ground-puppy. Tweeg. Young Alligator. 1839 Wied Reise Innere Nord-America 1.139 swPA, Ein anderes sehr merkwürdiges, hier in Menge vorkommendes Thier ist der grosse Alleghany-Salamander, (Menepoma Harlan.), den man hier Alligator nennt. [=Another very remarkable animal found here in great numbers is the great Alleghany salamander, (Menopoma Harlan), which is called alligator here. 1882 Amer. Naturalist 16.139 swPA, Acting on the advice of a “native” (which was to drop some bait—dead fish, &c., near certain rocks under which he insisted the “alligators” staid) I caught ten large specimens [of the hellbender] in a single morning. 1928 Baylor Univ. Museum Contrib. 16.8, West Texans frequently call Tiger Salamanders Alligators. They seldom see these animals above ground unless they are driven by water from their underground quarters in deserted burrows of prairie dogs and ground squirrels. Then, in the wake of a heavy rain storm, the amphibians crawl along ruts in the flooded roads or trails, and many persons believe that they are strictly aquatic animals and are either young alligators or are in some way related to those great saurians. 1930 Shoemaker 1300 Words 2 cPA Mts (as of c1900), Alligator—A large salamander formerly numerous in West Branch of Susquehanna; destroyed by industrial pollution.

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