American Alligators Part 3 – Juveniles

(Continuing with Part 3 of an American Alligator three-part series)


American Alligator juveniles are tiny replicas of their parents.  They are so cute!


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American Alligator juvenile, approx. 4-6 months old


The adult female alligator lays 32 to 46 eggs in late June/early July, with hatching occurring late August/early September.

Alligator hatchlings are 6 to 8 inches long with orange/yellow cross-bands against black for effective camouflage that lasts until maturity. 


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American Alligator juvenile, 4-6 months old, sitting on Momma’s back


Hatchlings grow rapidly, especially during their first four years, sometimes averaging more than one foot of growth for each year of life.  They attain sub-adult stage at four years old.


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American Alligator juvenile


Juvenile alligators are very vulnerable to predators (birds, raccoons, bobcats, and other alligators) and will live close to Mom for at least their first two years of life. 


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American Alligator juvenile


From an average clutch size of 35, it is estimated only 4 alligators will reach maturity (at 6 years female, 7 years male).  This estimate is actually for a growing alligator population.


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American Alligator juvenile


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American Alligator juvenile closeup of the banding


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American Alligator juvenile


Cute until they get 6 to 10 to 15 feet long!

I hope you enjoyed my three part photo series and the bits of info, sharing the fascinating and, yes, dangerous American Alligator.

Here’s a map of where American Alligators are located in the United States.  They are more widespread than I thought!


Map courtesy of U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Program


(Part 1 “Adults” here, and Part 2 “Closeups” here)



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