What do you see in this photo?

Okay, so this observation has been given a research grade. Am I the only one who sees a dead piece of wood and not an alligator?

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it’s a gator with snout pointing to the right and right eye underneath a leaf. you can see the scales on its neck on the left side of the photo, along with a few of the ridges on its back. compare to this, which is more obviously an alligator: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/30558888.


A nicely sculpted and painted decoy alligator?


That’s a gator. You can see a couple teeth too. But that camoflage seems to work though.


Try as I may, I can’t see it. :smiley:

zoom in on the leaf thats about in the center of the picture, you will see that it is partially covering the gators eye. its only basically the head of the gator in the image

Did some work on the yet to be released animatron modal and came up with this. You can notice the bilateral symmetry on the dorsal surface and the lips at the mesial ;)


I would have a hard time identifying this image, but then I know next to nothing about alligators. Give me a beaten up moth and I could probably hazard a fairly accurate ID. The person who confirmed this id seems to know alligators, so I would have more trust in his judgement than mine.

The hidden eye fooled me too! but if you look really closely you can see the rough skin and teeth, and a bit of the eye ridge under the leaf. This is what they’re best at after all!

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It’s the part on the left i have trouble with. I see the teeth ok on the right, but the left end sure looks like a piece of mostly rotten hollow log. Unless it’s a dead alligator that has been gnawed off around the mid to lower abdomen and partly hollowed out?! Lol!

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@karen33317 thank you for this entertaining reminder that we all see things differently.:smile: I sometimes get frustrated when someone insists that spider A looks exactly like spider B, and I can’t understand how they don’t see the differences. But then there are times like last week, when I looked at a photo of an extra “big” grasshopper on three different occasions before realizing that it was actually a young grasshopper on the back of a larger one. How had I missed that?!

So, thanks again for sharing your dead wood alligator and for the ensuing investigation! The iNat community—keeping things accurate through scientific scrutiny…and Legos.


It’s an alligator trying to make dinner think it’s just an old log sitting in the water. :)

https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/31117634 you don’t need to see much to make out an alligator. The eye being covered with the leaf makes it harder to make out.

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Maybe it’s because I spend so much time looking at dead wood in swamps up north here where there are no gators, but this looks immediately 100% alligator to me.


I think it’s a bad, long healed scar behind it’s head that makes it look so log like but yes, zoom in and you can see it’s for real

Just had a little play with the photo, hope this helps: https://i.imgur.com/qmvnGVt.png


i don’t see any obvious scars on this alligator. maybe it’s the shadows?

The back of the neck area on the lefthand side is what doesn’t look normal for an alligator. It’s like a big chunk of his neck/back is taken out.

This gator has the same thing at the back of his neck/head: https://i.imgur.com/mTvMlp2.jpg

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Notice the teeth in the middle, slightly lower right of the photo… :-) Very well camouflaged!

Looks like a good photo for www.snopes.com! That is, has anyone checked at a pixel level to see if this was digitally altered?