Animal Facts
    Common Name:
    American Alligator
    Scientific Name:
    Alligator mississippiensis
    • May be found in loose groups, but usually ignore each other
    • May stay underwater for hours if not active
    • Tail is used to push them through the water and acts as a rudder
    • Males court females by using sound, touch, and by exposing their necks to them
    400 lb
    10 ft
    Life Span:
    30 yrs
    Gestation Period:
    60 days
    Number of Young:
    30 eggs
    • Aquatic (freshwater)
    • Wetlands
    Fun Facts:
    • Females aggressively defend nests.
    • Sex of hatchlings is determined by temperature: Above 93 degrees Fahrenheit results in males, below 86 degrees Fahrenheit produces females, and a mix of sexes if between those temperatures.
    • Gator wallows are used by many animals in their habitat.
    • The 80 teeth of alligators are constantly replaced.
    • Alligators are typically active at night.
    • American alligators were once nearly extinct, but protection efforts pushed their numbers over one million today.
    • Habitat Loss
    Endangered Status
    Endangered Status
    • Extinct in Wild (EW)
    • Critically Endangered (CR)
    • Endangered (EN)
    • Vulnerable (VU)
    • Near Threatened (NT)
    • Least Concern (LC)
    • Not Evaluated (NE)

    Natural habitats and proper social groups result in breeding, nest building, and other natural behaviors. Training builds trust between the alligators and keepers. This training allows keepers and veterinarians to observe individuals and even draw blood without restraining the animals.