American Alligators

Facts and knowledge of

Alligators

The word alligator comes from the Spanish el lagarto , which means "the lizard.” Alligators and crocodiles can be correctly identified by looking at their mouths. When the jaws are closed, you can still see the fourth tooth on the lower jaw of the crocodile. However, when an alligator closes its mouth, that tooth is not visible. Female alligators construct and guard a nest for their eggs.

Were do alligators live ?

Habitats

American alligators are most commonly found in swamps in the southeastern United States, such as Florida, Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, Mississippi, and Texas. Florida and Louisiana have the largest populations of alligators in America, with each inhabited by around 1.5 million alligators. The only other species of alligator, the Alligator sinensis, is found in China and is a much smaller version of the American alligator. The United States is the only country in the world where alligators and crocodiles live side by side

Alligator life cycle

life

Alligators mate and lay eggs in May to June. The female builds a nest onshore and lays 35 to 50 eggs, though some females lay as many as 90 eggs. These eggs incubate for 65 days, then hatch into 6-inch baby alligators. Baby alligators stay with their mother for a few years, depending on her for food and protection. The Smithsonian website states that young alligators grow about 1 foot a year. According to the Smithsonian, alligators are sexually mature at 10 to 12 years of age, when they reach 6 feet in length. They are considered to be adults at six years, and safe from predators at 4 feet in length. They generally leave their mothers and become self-sufficient at 4 feet. Wild alligators live for up to 50 years.



Citations

Ehow.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Apr. 2013. <http://www.ehow.com/about_7237086_life-cycle-alligator.html>.

National geographic.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Apr. 2013. <http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/reptiles/american-alligator/>.

Tracker.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Apr. 2013. <http://tracker.cci.fsu.edu/alligator/about/where/>.