Q:

How do alligators mate?

A:

Quick Answer

According to the Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, alligators use a complex series of underwater bellows, sighs, grunts and other vocalizations to attract mates. Before mating, female alligators prepare soft nests of sticks and vegetation. Each female lays 30 to 50 eggs, deposits them in the nest and guards them during the 65-day incubation period.

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Full Answer

According to Wired Science News, the alligator mating ritual is often called "water dancing." The animals' underwater mating bellows are so forceful and low that they cause water droplets to fly up into the air, attracting potential mates. Alligators also use these noises to establish territorial dominance and intimidate other animals.

Juvenile alligators also communicate with high-pitched vocalizations. They use them to alert their mothers that they need attention or that there is a predator nearby. Juvenile bellows also alert a mother that one of her eggs has hatched. When she hears the bellow of her tiny hatchling, the mother races to the nest, scoops the baby up in her mouth and carries it into the water with her. According to Texas Parks and Wildlife, baby alligators remain close to their mothers for roughly two years.

Many animal species communicate with vocalizations. Alligators are unique among them because these reptiles lack vocal folds. All alligator bellows and coughs are made by gulping air and releasing it in a pressurized stream.

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Related Questions

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    How long do alligators live?

    A:

    According to LiveScience, American alligators can live up to 50 years in the wild. The American alligator can grow to lengths of up to 20 feet and weigh up to 1,000 pounds. On average, male alligators reach 11 feet, while females approach 8 feet.

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  • Q:

    How do alligators reproduce?

    A:

    Alligators reproduce via internal fertilization, mating at night and eventually laying 35 to 50 eggs in a small pit, which is then covered with a nest of decaying vegetation. About five times as many females are hatched as males after an incubation of 65 days, with the sex of offspring determined by temperature rather than genetic differences. The mother guards the eggs and digs them up as they begin hatching.

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    Where do alligators live?

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    American alligators live in the southeastern portion of the United States, with largest populations residing in Florida and Louisiana. The Chinese alligator is native to China.

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    Who are alligators scared of?

    A:

    Alligators are apex predators and fear no other animal within their ecosystem, although they are known to be timid around humans. This fear is beneficial for both species and is one reason why humans should not feed alligators, as they may begin to associate humans with food.

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