Wayne and Gladys Valley Children's Zoo
|Scientific Name:||Alligator mississippiensis|
|Length:||11-12 feet||9 feet|
|Weight:||450-550 pounds||160 pounds|
|Maturity:||10-12 years||10-12 years|
Lifestyle and Lifespan
|Lifespan in the Wild:||40 years|
|Lifespan in Captivity:||50-60 years|
|North Carolina to Florida Keys and west to central Texas.|
|Status in the Wild:|
American alligators are the largest reptile in North America. Broadly rounded snout distinguishes it from crocodiles. The fourth tooth on each side of lower jaw is hidden when mouth is closed. Young are black with yellowish cross-bars. Mature alligators are coal black when wet, dark gray when dry.
Fresh Water swamps and waterways only.
Carnivorous, Fish, snakes, frogs, turtles, birds, and mammals.
Activity and Behavior
Alligators are active durring the day and at night, this is considered cathemeral. Durring the day alligators thermoregulate and bask in the sun. Alligators hunt and feed primarily at night.
Young alligators stay near their hatchling site and form a tight social group. This behavior aids in survival and protection from predators. As adults, alligators do have loose social contact
Between 30-50 eggs are laid in a ground litter nest for their incubation period. The eggs are then covered so that the temperature can rise. Warmer temperatures produce males, cooler temperatures produce females.
How You Can Help
As an alligator's teeth are worn down, they are replaced. An alligator can go through 3,000 teeth in a lifetime.
P.O. Box 5238
9777 Golf Links Road Oakland, CA 94605
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