Wetlands Animals

American Alligator
American Alligator
Class: Reptilia: Reptiles  Diet: Small mammals
Order: Crocodilia: Crocodiles, Alligators, Gavial 
Size: up to 5.5 m (18 ft) 
Family: Alligatorianae: Alligators and Caimans  Conservation Status: Non-threatened
Scientific Name: Alligator mississipiensis  Habitat: marshes, rivers, swamps 
Range: Southeastern USA 

Size of American AlligatorThe American alligator, once struggling for survival against hunters and habitat destruction, has been so effectively protected by conservation laws that the population is now on the increase. These alligators usually mate in shallow water in April, and courtship is slow and quiet. The male stays with the female for several days before mating, occasionally stroking her body with his forelimbs. As she nears acquiescence, he rubs her throat with his head and blows bubbles past her cheeks. The female finds a nest site near water and scrapes up whatever plant debris is available with sweeping movements of her body and tail. She packs the vegetation together to form a mound, with a cavity for the eggs. She lays 28 to 52 eggs and crawls over the mound to close the cavity with more vegetation. She guards the nest while the eggs incubate for about 65 days. The hatching young call out to their mother, prompting her to open the nest and free them. They remain with her for up to 3 years. 

Range of American Alligator
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