Did you know that female alligators are very good mothers? It’s true! Starting in June, they build their nests with mud, sticks and decaying plants to create a mound where they will lay up or 35 eggs that will hatch at the end of August.
Mother alligators do not sit on their eggs, but rather rely on the compost-style nest to generate the heat needed to keep the eggs warm. An interesting fact here is that the temperature of the nest will determine whether the babies are male or female! A cooler nest will produce females, while warmer temperatures will produce male.
The mother alligator knows when the babies are starting to hatch because they will make a chirping sound. When she hears it, she will very gently take the eggs in her mouth to a place close to the water and crunch the shells just enough for the babies to emerge. She then puts her babies in the water.
After all the babies are in the water, the mother stays nearby to protect them from predators. Hatchlings stay with their mother for up to three years for protection, but unfortunately only a few will reach adulthood.
An alligator will grow about one foot a year, and when they reach six feet in length, they are considered adults. Now they are at the top of the food chain meaning they have only two predators – other alligators and people.
Alligators constantly replace their teeth. They have 70 to 60 teeth in their jaw at any given time, and will go through 3,000 teeth in a lifetime!
Alligator eyes glow in the dark. They have a structure in the back of their eyes that reflects light to improve night vision. You can also tell how big an alligator is by the distance between its eyes; the greater the distance, the longer the alligator.
Alligators are the loudest reptiles in the world! They roar to attract mates and to scare off predators.
Alligator blood has both antibiotic and antiviral properties which helps protect them from infection after injuries.
Aren’t alligators fascinating? Check out more alligator facts by clicking here.
– Becky Lynn is a writer for EllisDownHome.com. She and her husband Bob enjoy spending time with their 8 grandchildren and traveling. Becky loves cranking up the music and heading to the kitchen to try out new recipes or cook for an upcoming party. She is passionate about continuing to be a life-long learner!