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All About Baby Alligators

Updated on October 28, 2014
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Alligator Babies - Learn All about Them

I had the rare opportunity yesterday to see a baby alligator riding on its mother's back. This sighting was in a lake by the golf course where we play several days a week. Somewhere in the brushy areas of the course must be an alligator nest. I'll be more careful rummaging around for my lost golf balls in future. I wouldn't want to upset a mother alligator protecting her nest of eggs.

Seeing the baby alligator made me curious about the early days of an alligator's life. How big are they when they are born? How long do they hang around with the mother? What do the baby alligators eat? I've hunted for the answers for these and other questions about baby alligators. Enjoy the fun facts about baby gators and don't miss the informative videos about baby alligators.

I've also included places for you to go to see alligators.


Hatching (painted by CatOnHotBricks)

My Baby Alligator Photos - and a Grown Up Alligator

I created this Three Baby Alligators Poster on Zazzle and it is available there.
I created this Three Baby Alligators Poster on Zazzle and it is available there. | Source

I took some great photos of baby alligators and even shots showing them on their mother's back. Since Flickr won't let me show it here, I'll give you the link to the baby alligator photos.

This photo shows three baby alligators in a mossy, sort of swampy area. There were more there. I've read that the baby alligators stay close together and the group is called a pod.

Remember that the mother alligator looks out for the babies. Even if you don't see her, she is probably nearby. Don't take any risks by going close to the babies or trying to catch one.

I used a zoom lens to take this photo of the babies and also of the adult alligator.

This big fellow was in my neighbor's yard.
This big fellow was in my neighbor's yard. | Source

More Photos of Baby Alligators - Taken by Virginia Allain

Click thumbnail to view full-size
A pod of baby alligatorsBaby alligators in the water around their mother and one on her back.A closer view of the babyLook closely to see all the baby alligators in the mud and moss.
A pod of baby alligators
A pod of baby alligators
Baby alligators in the water around their mother and one on her back.
Baby alligators in the water around their mother and one on her back.
A closer view of the baby
A closer view of the baby
Look closely to see all the baby alligators in the mud and moss.
Look closely to see all the baby alligators in the mud and moss.

What Baby Alligators Eat

As they get bigger, they eat fish, snakes, turtles, smaller alligators, birds and other animals. The newly hatched babies eat small fish, insects and small frogs.

Pictures of Food for Young Alligators - Photographer: Virginia Allain

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Alligator Babies - Story Books and True Fact Books on Amazon

Learn more about baby alligators in these books available from Amazon.

Great Read-Aloud Story about an Alligator Baby

Baby Animals Series - Alligators

Alligators (Baby Animals (Kingfisher))
Alligators (Baby Animals (Kingfisher))

You can borrow books about alligators from your public library. The librarian can help find ones for the right reading level.

 

How Big Is a Baby Alligator?

As you can see from this photo, a just-hatched baby alligator will fit in your hand. They grow fast though. When it hatches, it can be eight to ten inches in length.

Hand Holding a Baby Alligator

Source

I love this Baby Alligator Poster by _Rollins_ (available from Zazzle).

You can see my photos of the baby alligators with their mother that I posted on the Flickr site. It was so interesting to see them climbing on her back and tail.

How Fast Do They Grow?

A baby alligator in the wild can grow to 3 feet in length in the first year.

Short Videos about Baby Alligators

1) Baby alligators catching and eating small fish.

2) National Geographic film of a mother alligator protecting her babies.

3) A mother alligator digs away at the nest to bring the newly hatched babies down to the water.

4) Releasing baby alligators into the wild where one is eaten by a larger gator.

Have You Seen a Baby Alligator?

Vote in the Poll

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Realistic Model Alligator with a Baby

Safari Ltd Incredible Creatures Alligator with Babies
Safari Ltd Incredible Creatures Alligator with Babies

This is a foot long realistic looking mother alligator with babies on her back (they are attached). Kids love this.

Notice how the baby alligators have more yellow in their stripes. This helps them hide better while they are small.

 

Dangers to Baby Alligators

Bigger animals like herons, turtles, large fish and large alligators will eat a baby alligator.

Some Animals That Eat Baby Alligators - Photos by Virginia Allain

Click thumbnail to view full-size

More Photos of Alligators

by Virginia Allain

I take some of these photos right in my backyard, as we have a small lake which attracts these big reptiles. The young I've only seen while I was out golfing. They seem to be in areas where there is conservation land with trees and swampy areas next to a good sized lake.

Probably the wooded, brushy area makes a good place to put the nest and cover it. Once the little ones hatch out, they can move over to the larger body of water.

The reason I haven't seen baby alligators in my backyard is there is no brushy area for the nest.

More Alligator Photos by Virginia Allain

This is one of my photos that I've made available on Zazzle products.
This is one of my photos that I've made available on Zazzle products. | Source
From my back lanai.
From my back lanai. | Source

In My Backyard

Source

Places to See Alligators

Gatorland is the only one of these that I've visited. You will need at the very least half a day to see all the exhibits, but allow more time as they have some excellent demonstrations, a small train that takes you around the swampy areas to see additional alligators and don't miss the feeding time for the large gators. Dramatic.

Bring your camera!

Don't Forget to Sign the Guestbook

Please tell me about your alligator sightings or your interest in these.

I hope you enjoyed my page about baby alligators

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    • Virginia Allain profile image
      Author

      Virginia Allain 24 months ago from Central Florida

      For me, it is exciting to see any alligator. I am very careful and use a zoom lens. The baby ones are special as we do not see them often.

    • Mark Johann profile image

      Mark Johann 24 months ago from Italy

      The baby alligators are so cute. I wonder how I could have been excited watching closely on a hatching alligators. This is exciting I supposed. But you Virginia seeing those?

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 24 months ago from Houston, Texas

      The only alligators I have personally seen have been in zoos but my hubby has seen them on golf courses in Florida. There are some in our part of Texas but not in our part of Houston...at least none reported so far. In other parts of our city there have been some sightings. Very interesting hub and you took some great photos. I did not know that the babies would ride like that on their mother's back. Up votes and sharing. Also pinning to my animals board.

    • CMHypno profile image

      CMHypno 24 months ago from Other Side of the Sun

      Thanks for a great hub on baby alligators and wonderful images. I held a baby crocodile once and that was amazing. I will have to take a visit to Florida to see the alligators as well!

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 2 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Well covered and a fun read. I did see baby alligators years ago in Florida. Like them much better that way. lol

      ^+

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 2 years ago from sunny Florida

      Nicely done. Living here in Florida we do have opportunities that others may not. I have had many of the same you shared.

      Right now I visit often a friend who has lives on a lake and has her own tiny lake right in front of her house Small alligators are there right now and Momma is no doubt watching them carefully.

      Thanks for sharing this amazing creature with others.

      Many Angels are on the way to you this evening ps Voted up++++

    • Elsie Hagley profile image

      Elsie Hagley 2 years ago from New Zealand

      Beautiful photos. Thank goodness in New Zealand we don't have alligators, I'm quite happy viewing them on the internet, TV, etc as they are a very interesting reptile.

      Thanks for sharing.

    • Virginia Allain profile image
      Author

      Virginia Allain 3 years ago from Central Florida

      @bbmcfarlane: That would be pretty amazing. I'm sure it won't survive the winters you have there, but may be happy for the summer at least.

    • profile image

      bbmcfarlane 3 years ago

      Great info. We were looking at our pond and. Seen something not familiar. First we thought it was a lizard. But it was completely immersed. In the water. We were wow what is that. We were ableto watch it walk on the bottom of the pond. It was about 12to 16 inches long. When I see your pictures of baby alligators. It looked just like them. This is the thing. We live in Paonia. Colorado. There has been a couple sighting of alligators that people has dumped into the ditches. One was Abigail alligator that the ditch rider found it was dead in the irrigation ditch. Sure looked like a baby alligator. We haven't seen it again today. The pond will be lower tomorrow evening after we water. Hope to see it again. I'll keep you posted. Brenda

    • ajtyne profile image

      AJ 3 years ago from North Carolina

      Beautiful photos! I enjoyed reading about the babies as well as looking at the photos. I'm on my way to flickr to see more. But I must say I hope that was a super zoom you used to take the photo of the 3 baby gators! I watch Gator Boys on Animal Planet sometimes. They catch nuisance gators live without harming them, to rescue them. They also do some conservation work to help different ecologists or other groups. Anyway, they went out at night to catch some baby alligators. They take them somewhere to be studied and then relocated to a place that needs more gators for the ecosytem. They said that is the most dangerous thing they do -- and the one guy jumps into the murky water to catch a gator too close to someone's house -- because the mother alligators are ferocious when it comes to their babies and you won't see her, she'll come out of nowhere and get anyone who gets near them. I never knew the babies rode on mom's back.

    • gottaloveit2 profile image

      gottaloveit2 3 years ago

      Fascinating information. I had no idea the momma watches over the babies. Your photos, as always, are gorgeous.

    • Virginia Allain profile image
      Author

      Virginia Allain 4 years ago from Central Florida

      @flycatcherrr: I'm betting that people are silly enough to release unwanted pet alligators. It is hard to believe that one could survive the winters that far north though.

    • JimHofman profile image

      JimHofman 4 years ago

      Beautiful photos! We've seen them in the Everglades and in St. Augustine.

    • LisaDH profile image

      LisaDH 4 years ago

      How fun to see baby alligators with their mom. But please be careful looking for those golf balls!

    • kerryhrabstock profile image

      kerryhrabstock 5 years ago

      Love the photos.

    • flycatcherrr profile image

      flycatcherrr 5 years ago

      Cute little guys, for sure! Now, I have to ask you a dumb question... Is it true or an urban legend, all those stories that used to go around about baby alligators that were turned loose in storm sewers when people got tired of keeping them as pets?

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 5 years ago from Colorado

      I enjoyed learning more about baby alligators. I came upon a nest of alligators, and their mama, at a wildlife refuge in Texas. Let me tell you I got out of there in a hurry! Your photos are fabulous and the videos were very enlightening. Thank you!

    • Wednesday-Elf profile image

      Wednesday-Elf 5 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      Awww.... a baby alligator! I once had a half-grown alligator in my backyard when I lived in SW Florida years ago, but have never seen a baby alligator. Your photos are outstanding!

      I've added this page to the 'explore related pages' section of my new 'Alligators & Crocodiles' gift lens.

    • yano jl profile image

      yano jl 5 years ago

      Being a Florida native, I have seen baby alligators from time to time. And, I think its great. These animals are an under-appreciated part of our sub-tropical ecosystem and I applaud folks like you who further understanding and education on this subject.

      I think you'll find that unlike many other reptile species, Alligators are actually pretty good parents.

      Yes Virginia, its time for a SquidLike! Go Gators!

    • mariaamoroso profile image

      irenemaria 5 years ago from Sweden

      Amazing animals. Surviving human treatment...

    • ZenandChic profile image

      Patricia 5 years ago

      Be careful around those alligators! That one you got with the baby on the mama's back is very cool!

    • traveller27 profile image

      traveller27 5 years ago

      Interesting topic. Enjoyed reading about baby alligators. Blessed by a travelling angel.

    • jptanabe profile image

      Jennifer P Tanabe 5 years ago from Red Hook, NY

      Oh my, those baby alligators look cute but mama certainly looks dangerous! Blessed.

    • Zut Moon profile image

      Zut Moon 5 years ago

      I find them fascinating but I sure am glad I don't live in Florida ... I have held a baby one and seen on in Curcao (I think) which was HUGE ....

    • thooghun lm profile image

      thooghun lm 5 years ago

      What a wonderful lens, and aren't they adorable -- man eating... erm. Yea :)

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