Q:

How fast do alligators grow?

A:

Quick Answer

American alligators are 8 to 12 inches long at birth and grow 2 to 12 inches per year depending upon the habitat, food source and sex of the alligator. The size and age of the alligator affect alligators' growth as well, with older, larger alligators growing more slowly.

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Full Answer

Male alligators grow up to 13 feet and more than 500 pounds, while females reach about 9 feet and around 200 pounds. In addition to growing larger than females, males grow faster, too. Large habitats with less competition for food increase growth rate and potential size. Alligators continue to grow throughout their lifetime.

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    Alligators breathe by inhaling air into their lungs. They do not have gills and cannot breathe underwater, though they can stay underwater for intervals of up to two hours, and it is believed they can hold their breath even longer if necessary.

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    How do alligators reproduce?

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    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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    Who are alligators scared of?

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