American Alligator

Alligator mississippiensis

Most reptiles pay no attention to their offspring, but alligators are truly tender mothers. The female builds a large mound of rotting vegetation and careful lays her eggs inside to incubate.  When they hatch, she guides them to the water and watches out for them for at least two years.

Fact File

lengthLength: 9 to 16 ft
lifespanLifespan: Up to 40 years in the wild
habitatHabitat: Wetlands
dietDiet: Fish, turtles, snakes, frogs, small mammals, birds, and other alligators