Alligator Gar are a freshwater fish found in slow-moving or still freshwater bodies across the south of North America. They can reach over 2 m in length and weigh 45 kg making them the largest species of gar and one of the largest species of freshwater fish in North America. They are often called living fossils because of their primitive anatomical features. They are ambush predators, "hunting" by staying still waiting for a prey item, including aquatic birds and small mammals, to approach.

This specimen came from Texas. It was donated to the Museum in 1890 by Henry Ward (1834-1906), the American naturalist and natural history dealer.

Alligator Gar are fished and bow-fished by individuals and commercially. Overfishing is a problem for this species and this, in addition to the destruction of their habitat, particularly around the mouths of rivers, has led to a reduction in their range and they are now considered rare or Endangered in some areas.

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