Nauseous Effluvium Musk

A description of the American Alligator from an 1829 publication describing the wild animals in the zoos of London…

American Alligator
Large American Alligator basking on a Cypress Log on Minnie’s Lake in the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia. March 12, 2015 ©www.williamwisephoto.comA description of the American Alligator from an 1829 publication describing the wild animals in the zoos of London…

“The voice of these animals is very loud and dreadful, and they have an unpleasant and powerful musky scent. M. Pagés says, that near one of the rivers in America, where the alligators were numerous, their effluvium was so strong as to impregnate his provisions, and even to give them the nauseous taste of rotten musk . This effluvium proceeds chiefly from four glands, two of which are situated in the groin , near each thigh, and the other two at the breast, one under each fore leg. Dampier informs us, that when his men killed an alligator, they generally took out these glands, and after having dried them , wore them in their hats by way of perfume.”


  • Huish, Robert. The Wonders of the Animal Kingdom; Exhibiting Delineations of the most distinguished Wild Animals in the Various Menageries of this Country. London, 1829.

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