Friday, April 8, 2016

Cute Baby Alligators


Six cute baby American Alligators relaxing on a log in the Corkscrew Swamp - Mother Gator and another large Alligator are napping nearby - maybe Dad? Newly hatched alligators live in small groups called "pods." Eighty percent of young alligators fall victim to birds and raccoons. Other predators include bobcats, otters, snakes, large bass, and larger alligators. Females aggressively defend their young during these first few years. Crocodilians are unusual among reptiles in providing maternal care to their young. The juveniles grow about a foot a year. Maturity is reached during the sixth year.  Young alligators remain in the area where they are hatched and where they are protected by their mother. After two to three years, they leave that area in search of food, or are driven out by larger alligators.
One interesting aspect of alligator biology is that they undergo periods of dormancy when the weather is cold. They excavate a depression called a “gator hole” along a waterway and use it during dormancy.
In areas where the water level fluctuates, alligators dig themselves into hollows in the mud, which fill with water. These tunnels are often as long as 65 feet (20 m) and provide protection during extreme hot or cold weather. Many other animals also use these burrows after they are abandoned by their creators.

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Cute Baby Alligators