ANIMAL: American Alligator Alligator mississippiensis Type of Animal: Crocodilian Habitat: Swamps, rivers, marshes, lakes, wetlands, ponds, estuaries, coastal areas, streams, rural areas, urban/suburban areas Location(s): Southeast U.S.A Appearance: Blackish-grayish scales w/ broad head & snout, males head & body heavier & more conspicuous, females skinnier/smaller than males, long tail on both sexes, yellowish underbelly. Food/Diet: Fish (including sharks), turtles, snakes including venomous & large species, carrion, rodents, snails, birds, amphibians, rabbits, cats, dogs, coyotes, red wolves, foxes, raccoons, otters, deer, worms, spiders, young alligators, lizards, armadillos, pigs, sheep, goats, cattle, panthers, bobcats, small bears, insects, insect larvae, mollusks, crayfish, shrimp, crabs Status in Wild: Stable Conservation: Breeding on farms, zoos, aquariums, & wildlife parks. Farmed for meat & skin. Lifestyle: Usually found in groups led by dominant male. Many large adults solitary. Nesting females often found alone. Babies & juveniles typically found in groups. Additional Info: Called: Male-Bull Female-Cow Young-Hatchling Group-Pod Weight: Male-500-800 lbs Female-200 lbs Young-0.125-5 lbs Gestation: 2 months Body Length: Male-10-13 ft Female-6-9 ft Young-0.67-2 ft Life Span: 50-70 years Tail Length: Male-5-6.5 ft Female-3-4.5 ft Young-4.02-12 in Only predators of adults are bears, panthers, invasive pythons, & bull sharks. However, invasive pythons often eaten by gators & other 3 sometimes eaten by large gators as well. Young, on the other hand, eaten by bobcats, domestic cats, raccoons, foxes, otters, raptors, storks, herons, snakes, snapping turtles, softshell turtles, older gators, crabs, & predatory fish (especially sharks & largemouth bass). Gators reach sexual maturity at 10 years old. Females lays 10-50 eggs each year & hatchlings stay w/ mom for up to 3 years. This means mom might have 30-150 babies with her. Used to be at risk but now there’s more than 1 million gators in wild. Fun Fact(s): NEVER FEED/APPROACH A WILD GATOR- IF THEY GET USED TO BEING FED BY HUMANS, THEY BECOME EXTREMELY DANGEROUS & ALMOST ALWAYS HAVE TO BE PUT DOWN BY ANIMAL CONTROL. IN FACT, IT’S ILLEGAL TO FEED GATORS. DON’T SWIM IN BODIES OF WATER KNOWN TO CONTAIN GATORS. IN FACT, GOLFERS CAN’T GET GOLF BALLS OUT OF PONDS CONTAINING GATORS. HOWEVER, IF LEFT ALONE, THEY CAN BE EXCEEDINGLY DOCILE.