The livestock census count is 5 million for the American Alligator. With a possible weight of 992lbs, it is the largest reptile in the United States of America. It feeds on small fish, other reptiles (snakes, sea turtles, etc.), amphibians (such as the American bullfrog, mole salamander, frogs, toads, hellbenders, sirens, etc.) and little mammals. Freshwater slow-moving rivers are the alligator’s favorite habitat but they also inhabit marshes and lakes. Below, we explain their way of life according to these three stages of their lives: birth stage, juvenile stage, adult stage.
Female American alligators lay a range of 20-50 eggs in nests built with sticks, mud and plants by mother alligators. With a 6ft measurement in diameter and a height of 3ft, these nests aren’t enough to protect them until they hatch, therefore, 90% of these eggs are lost to predators who inhabit the rivers, marshes, swamps, lakes and other wetland homes that they live in.
Knowing if an egg is a male or female alligator boils down to the amount of heat present in the environment while the eggs are in incubation; below 80° and a female alligator comes into the world; a temperature higher than 93° and a male alligator comes into the world; when the temperature vacillates between 86° and 93°, a female and a male alligator are born.
Juvenile alligators are baby alligators. “Pod” is the term used to describe a mother alligator and her babies; baby alligators live with their mothers for a minimum of one year. The baby alligator lives on her mother’s back honing and perfecting its hunting skills until it grows; however, this positioning also puts it up as choice food for predators. They also fall prey to male alligators.
In wild environs, the average life span of an alligator is 40 years old and it spends 2.5% to 7.5% of this time living in the pod until it grows to 13ft and 10ft in length, for male alligators and female alligators respectively.
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