Alligators may be scaly,
but they’re warm and fuzzy mothers.

One lucky day in the Everglades, my husband and I discovered a mother alligator with two hatchlings. One baby was snoozing on her snout. The other was napping nearby on a log. Before you could say, Alligator mississippiensis, excited hikers crowded around, oooohing, ahhhhing, and clicking countless photos.

Alligator Babies
Hatchling alligators are about a foot long and are camouflaged with yellow stripes.

Her peaceful outing foiled, the mother–with baby aboard–drifted into the brush. But she didn’t forget her other hatchling.
Nudging the floating log with her nose,  she pushed it away like a stroller!

American Alligator Baby, Alligator mississippiensis
American Alligator Baby, Alligator mississippiensis

Although alligators have a ferocious reputation, they are attentive mothers.
They guard their nest for three months and protect their young for up to three years.
Fish, birds,
mammals, and even large alligators, enjoy snacking on eggs and hatchlings. 

Two hatchlings of different ages bask in the sawgrass.

Despite their mother’s devotion, only about one in ten alligator hatchlings will survive to adulthood.

Alligator Jaw-Hi-Sharpened.jpg
Alligator ‘s have more than 70 teeth. When one breaks, another grows it’s place!

For further exploration of crocodilians . . .

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I look forward to meeting some of you in the classroom.
Keep reading and writing!


Program/author visit video:

Photography website: