American Alligator

AnimalAmerican Alligator
Scientific NameAlligator mississippiensis
Lifespan35 – 50 years
Size3 – 4.5 meters
Weight453.5 kilograms
Conservation statusLeast concern > Near threatened >
Vulnerable > Endangered >
Critically endangered > Extinct in the wild >

Alligator species are over one-hundred-fifty million years old and are thought to of stayed clear of extinction. In 1950, hides from American alligators were highly in demand, and hunting them caused them to almost go extinct. Conservation efforts helped get the species’ numbers back up, and now there are over a million alligators in the wild.

Most of the time, alligators eat turtles, snakes, fish, snails, worms, and tiny mammals. Occasionally, especially when really hungry, they could eat almost everything. They might even eat humans.

Hatchling American alligator. Image by Paul Brennan from Pixabay

The mating behavior of an American alligator is polygyny, meaning one male can mate with multiple females. They make mud nests and lay twenty-five to sixty eggs. After around sixty days of incubation, the eggs finally hatch and the hatchlings are born. The hatchlings are about fifteen to twenty centimeters in length and have back and yellow stripes.

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