Dead alligators move fast. In just a few days, all the heft of the alligator’s body has gone, like smoke in a heavy wind. Flies and beetles carried some of the body’s remains down; putrefying bacteria and purifying vultures carried other molecules aloft.
All that remains are bones and rubbery skin. A deflated inner tube lies over limestone rock fragments.
The most unusual of the animal’s bones are the dermal scutes, bony plates that form an exoskeleton down the animal’s back. The scutes of young alligators are covered in skin, but this quickly wears away. The alligator therefore has both an endoskeleton (like us) and an exoskeleton (like the arthropods).