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Baby alligators, in particular, are the most at risk. Alligators tend to eat their young to administer population control and ensure they don’t have too much competition for food sources. These reptiles are not pack animals; they typically hang out alone, and, therefore, it makes sense they would have no issue with killing off any competition to their livelihood. According to Newsweek , it is estimated that there are around 1.

With so many of these predators roaming around, one might anticipate fatal alligator attacks are a regular occurrence. In truth, they aren’t.

The media makes it seem worse than it is. That doesn’t mean they don’t happen; when the Newsweek article was written, in , there had been 23 unprovoked fatal attacks. However, when you compare that to car crash statistics, it pales in comparison. The most important thing is to be alert and stay out of areas rife with alligator activity.

Most of us think of alligators as vicious, carnivorous predators, but did you know they are fond of eating fruit?

Both alligators and crocodiles will eat fruit, and even veggies, when available. Initially, scientists thought this was a practice specific to the reptiles raised in captivity, but studies have been conducted on wild alligators as well. According to Smithsonian Magazine , it has indeed been proven that alligators will enjoy the occasional elderberry, citrus fruit, or wild grapes if they find them out in the wild. Scientist Brian Switek stated that “crocodilians are capable of breaking down the carbohydrates, proteins, and fats in vegetable matter, so the fruit-eating by these archosaurs could be a nutritional supplement.

As we mentioned earlier in this article, alligator attacks are rare. That said, if you are unlucky enough to cross paths with an angry gator, and it bites you, that doesn’t automatically mean you’re doomed. It is vital that you fight back and not just lie still.

Punch, hit, kick, or attack the eyes of the gator that has sunk its teeth into you. Odds are, the alligator will release and retreat because they don’t want to go after prey that could potentially harm them. In general, it’s a good idea to always keep at least 50 feet between you and any nearby gators. When people say alligators are all over the place in Florida, they’re not lying.

They already feel they have free run of the place, but, when bad weather strikes, it’s not uncommon to find displaced gators in the roads, in local swimming pools, and even in your backyard. They even like to hang out on golf courses. Most locals are aware of the alligators around and know how to steer clear of them. However, there have been repeated cases of alligators getting into peoples’ yards and homes. Alligators have always frequented Disney World, but the issue came to a head in after a tragic incident involving an alligator killing a two-year-old boy at a Walt Disney World hotel.

The parents were incensed about the attack and the fact the alligators were left to roam around. In an article published in the Washington Post , it was reported that the park had more than alligators removed between and In the days before the attack, six alligators were removed, and, in the days after, five more were removed.

Some of them were more than 6-feet long. It’s not all that surprising given how well-kept the waters are. Now there are signs up warning guests about the possibility of encountering a gator in certain areas. Given their tremendous size and proclivity towards the water, you wouldn’t expect that alligators would be skilled at climbing, but they are. It’s not at all uncommon to catch alligators scaling fences. Just like last week, there was an incident involving a massive alligator scaling a fence into a Navy base.

They may be big, but they’re surprisingly agile creatures. Usually, they scale fences because they’re trying to get to a body of water, such as someone’s swimming pool, but it’s more proof that you always need to be aware of what is going on in your backyard.

Go to the following links for more information:. Female alligators rarely exceed 10 feet in length, but males can grow much larger. Nearly all alligators become sexually mature by the time they reach approximately 7 feet in length although females can reach maturity at 6 feet.

A female may require years and a male years to reach these lengths. Courtship begins in early April, and mating occurs in May or June. Females build a mound nest of soil, vegetation, or debris and deposit an average of 32 to 46 eggs in late June or early July. Incubation requires approximately days, and hatching occurs from mid-August through early September. The average clutch size of an alligator nest is For nests that survive predators and flooding, an estimated 24 live hatchlings will emerge.

Only 10 alligator hatchlings will live to one year. Of these yearlings, 8 will become subadults reach 4 feet in length. The number of subadults that reach maturity 6 feet in length is approximately 5. These estimates are for a growing alligator population.

As a population matures and has a higher percentage of large alligators , the survival rate would be expected to be lower, in part due to a higher rate of cannibalism.

Eggs: Alligator eggs are susceptible to drowning, being crushed by the female, predation, and other less common calamities. Raccoons are the primary predator, although hogs, otters, and bears have been reported to depredate nests. Juveniles: Small alligators are eaten by a variety of predators including raccoons, otters, wading birds, and fish; however, larger alligators may be their most significant predator. Adults: Cannibalism, intraspecific fighting, and hunting by humans are probably the most significant mortality factors.

Diseases and Parasites: Very little information is available in the scientific literature on wild alligator diseases and parasites. They are not believed to be a significant problem for wild alligators.

Alligators occur from southeast Oklahoma and east Texas on the western side of their range to North Carolina and Florida in the east. They prefer fresh water lakes and slow-moving rivers and their associated wetlands, but they also can be found in brackish water habitats. Alligators are ectothermic — they rely on external sources of heat to regulate their body temperature.

Alligators control their body temperature by basking in the sun, or moving to areas with warmer or cooler air or water temperatures. Alligators are dormant throughout much of the winter season. During this time, they can be found in burrows or “dens” that they construct adjacent to an alligator hole or open water, but they occasionally emerge to bask in the sun during spells of warm weather.

 
 

 

– Alligators in Florida: Close up encounters due to gator mating season

 
Warm spring weather means alligators are more active and more visible, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said. Courtship begins in April then mating happens in May . Jun 03,  · What months are alligators most active in Florida? Female alligators deposit their eggs in late June or early July, FWC notes, and the eggs hatch around August or . Jun 11,  · Alligators are apex predators, one that has popularized popular culture and frequently appear on the news, typically attached to a crazy story coming out of Florida. .

 
 

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