CLAY COLEMAN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CLAY COLEMAN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
American alligator (Alligator mississipiensis) with its mouth gaping open. It is an example of an ectothermic organism, one which controls its temperature using its external environment. It is thought that having its mouth open helps it to reduce its body temperature by allowing evaporation. Photographed at Avery Island, Louisiana, USA.
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