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Contrary to Popular Opinion, Alligators Make Great Moms

gatorA reptile that is native to the United States and China, alligators often receive a bad rap for attacking humans and being violent. But did you know that alligators can actually be very nurturing? Unlike many other reptiles, female alligators can actually be very good mothers. Wild Florida is happy to nominate our Mom of the Year to our Orlando alligators.

Alligator Nesting Habits

Upon close observance, experts have found that when the alligator is ready to lay eggs, she starts to build a large nest comprised of plants, mud, and sticks. She can lay anywhere from 10 to 50 eggs on top of this nest and will protect the nest with foliage so that the babies inside the eggs can grow. This nesting phase isn’t always something we know about alligators but takes place regularly with a consistent pattern of protecting the nest from predators and taking the time to regulate the temperature of the eggs using various natural materials.

How Alligators Protect their Eggs

In order to protect their eggs and future babies, the alligator will make an effort to hold some eggs in her mouth when crossing the water or simply carry new hatchlings carefully in her mouth while swimming. Baby alligators will stay and swim together with the mother. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission reports some interesting facts about alligators such as alligator eggs are very susceptible to drowning and being crushed by the female and other factors.

Alligator survival rates don’t look too promising, either. About 1/3 of alligator nests end up getting destroyed by predators or from a flood. Statistics show that only 10 alligator hatchlings end up living to one year and only eight of these 10 end up becoming adults. As the population matures, survival rates are expected to be even lower, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Still, it turns out that alligators do have a nurturing side and actually make very good mothers.

When you come to Wild Florida, we are happy to answer any questions you may have about the Orlando alligators here and other Florida wildlife. Please call (866) 532- 7167 or click here to buy tickets to our Wildlife and Nature Park.