562

What is this?

Answer:

These are scutes from the back of an Alligator. The upper surface of the scute is make of keratin, like a scale, but the lower layer is bone, giving the Alligator an armor covering. In addition, the scutes contain many blood vessels, and help the Alligator regulate its temperature, quickly absorbing heat from the Sun, or getting rid of excess heat in the shade.
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