Basic Information

Alligators are opportunistic feeders and generally feed at night. Because reptiles are cold blooded they rely on the sun to maintain their body temperature. They will only feed when water temperatures are 70 degrees and above. They eat fish, birds, turtles, snakes, and small to medium sized mammals. Alligator attacks on dogs are more common, because they are the size of their normal prey. Keep your dog on a leash and away from the water especially at dawn, dusk, and nighttime when alligators are most likely to be feeding. There are only two species of alligators in the world, the American and the Chinese.

Alligators reach sexual maturity at six feet or 10 to 15 years of age for males and 8 to 12 years for females. Courtship is in early spring. During courtship, males and females bellow which causes the water to vibrate. Alligators mate during late May through July and the female lays 30 to 45 eggs. It usually takes 60 to 65 days for the eggs to hatch. The sex of the embryos in the eggs is determined by the temperature in the nest. Males will be created if the temperature in the nest is from 90.5 to 91.4 degrees and females will be created if the temperature in the nest is below 90.5 degrees or higher than 91.4.

Fun Facts

  • Alligators produce 6,000 teeth in a lifetime
  • They can live for more than 65 years
  • They can be traced back 65 million years