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Alligator Interaction – Despite their toothy reputation, gators have killed just eight people in the past decade. In comparison, crocodiles cause hundreds of deaths in a single year.

Incubation – Females build their nests as something of a compost heap. They pile various types of vegetation onto their eggs. As these plants decompose, they release heat to incubate the eggs.

Don’t Mess with Mama – A female gator remains in close proximity to her nest. She will attack anything that wanders too close or attempts to steal her eggs. When the young begin to hatch, they make a distinctive chirping sound. When she hears their calls, she digs them from the nest and carries them to the water.

Dedicated Parent – Even after the young reach their lake, pond, or small wetland, the mother continues to protect them. As long as the hatchlings remain in close proximity, she will attack anything that attempts to prey on them.


Conserving and restoring wetland habitats, such as freshwater marshes, rivers, and swamps, is the best way to protect them.


Least Concern


In the wild they can live up to 35 to 50 years. In captivity they can live up to 65 to 80 years.


Some of their favorite ecosystems include swamps, wetlands, marshes, lakes, rivers, ponds, streams, and more. Occasionally, they show up in swimming pools and man-made fish ponds.


Like all crocodilians, these reptiles are carnivores. This means that they only eat meat. They are incredibly opportunistic, preying upon virtually anything that they can subdue. Bigger individuals can kill and eat larger prey. Some of the different types of prey that they take include fish, insects


Male alligators are larger than female alligators. The average adult size for a female is 8.2 feet (2.6 meters), and the average size for a male is 11.2 feet (3.4 meters).


Weight of nearly half a ton or 1,000 pounds (454 kilograms)


The average length of an adult American alligator is between 10 and 15 feet (3 to 4.6 meters), with males generally being larger than females. The largest alligator on record was a male that measured 19 feet 2 inches (5.8 meters) long.

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