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14.- Fort Lauderdale, Alligator

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Let's look at some animals. If you come with me to the west part of Fort Lauderdale, about 25 kilometers from the beach, we will sit in a boat along the Everglades. The word means "you can see grass in all directions" or grass forever. Alligators have not evolved much since the age of the dinosaurs, and they don't have to. The climate is similar to the conditions enjoyed by the great lizards. Alligators dig holes in the dry season (October to May) and wait for the rains (June to September). The rain pattern is simple: clear skies in the morning, the sun at noon starts to evaporate water, clouds form over the Everglades, rain falls over west Fort Lauderdale between 2-3 p.m., and the sky is clear in the evening. This is the typical summer pattern and we adjust our lives to expect lots of lightning and rain for a brief time each day.

The animals of Fort Lauderdale include raccoons, possums, wild parrots (many of them former pets) and other exotic birds, and we have monkeys. I can show the monkeys at Bonnet House, where they play in the trees next to one of the oldest and most interesting house in Florida. There is a room with shells from floor to ceiling. Fascinating!

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