NextAnimal ListAnimal Profiles
Reptile. The American alligator is the largest reptile in North America and has been a successful predator for 200 million years! Alligators are less aggressive than crocodiles, and they hibernate during the winter. In summer, female alligators build nests on banks above the high water mark, and they each lay about 30 eggs. The eggs are not incubated, but they maintain a fairly constant temperature in the nest. Alligators can have up to 80 teeth at one time, and they grow new teeth to replace worn ones. In a lifetime, they can wear out between 2,000 to 3,000 teeth. The longest recorded length for an alligator is 5.8 m (19 ft 2 in).
Scientific Name Lifespan
Alligator mississippiensis 70 years, as old as 100
Carnivore. Insects, crayfish, crabs, fish, frogs, rats, birds, muskrats, beavers, raccoons, snakes, turtles, and deer.
Predators and Threats
Humans and intraspecific fighting. Alligator eggs and baby alligators are preyed on by bobcats, raccoons, hogs, fish, wading birds, and otters; bears destroy nests.
Ponds, lakes, canals, rivers, swamps, bayous, and coastal marshes; Southeastern United States.