IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


15th May, 2023 Environment

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  • Discovery of alligator gar, a non-native predator fish mostly found in North America, in Srinagar’s Dal Lake surprised experts in Kashmir.

About the fish

  • Scientific Name: Atractosteus spatula
  • It resembles a crocodile and is classified under the catfish family.
  • Alligator gars are indigenous to North America and feed on other fish, but have been found in other areas after their accidental introduction in waterbodies.
  • Usually, they don’t attack humans, but they can grow up to eight feet and can be dangerous to indigenous fish species.


  • Gars are easily distinguished from other freshwater species by their long, slender, cylindrical bodies, long snouts, and diamond-shaped interlocking (ganoid) scales.
  • Alligator gar is the largest of the gar species.
  • It can grow up to 8 feet long and weigh more than 300 pounds.
  • Adults have two rows of large teeth on either side of the upper jaw. Coloration is generally brown or olive above and lighter underneath.
  • The species name spatulais Latin for "spoon", referring to the creature's broad snout.
  • Alligator gar can live for many decades.


  • Alligator gar are present in the Gulf coastal plain from the Econfina River in Florida west and south to Veracruz, Mexico.
  • The historic range extends north in the Mississippi River basin to the lower reaches of the Missouri and Ohio rivers.


Q) Which of the following statements with reference to Alligator Gar is/are correct?

1. Alligator gar is the smallest of the gar species.

2. Alligator gars are indigenous to North America.

3. It resembles a crocodile and is classified under the catfish family.

  1. 1 and 2
  2. 2 and 3
  3. 1 and 3
  4. 1, 2 and 3

Correct Answer: 2