American Alligator

(Alligator mississippiensis)

Reptiles Alive Name: Lil’G

Hissstory: Lil’G was transferred to RA from a reptile rescue group.

RA Diet: Our young alligators eat roaches, crickets, fish, and their favorite: dead, defrosted rodents. Yum-O!

Natural Diet: Alligators are opportunistic feeders; they will eat almost any animal that is nearby including fish, insects, mammals, birds, amphibians, and reptiles. Alligators are one of the only animals with jaws strong enough to crush a turtle shell – so they love to eat turtles.Range: American Alligators live in the southeastern United States from eastern North Carolina south through Florida and west to eastern Texas.

Habitat: Almost any place there is freshwater in the south, you could find a gator. They live in lakes, rivers, ponds, ditches, golf course water hazards, and sometimes, they try to move in to back yard swimming pools!

Size: Female alligators can grow 8-9 feet while males grow to an average 10-12 feet.

Lifespan: Alligators can live more than 40 years.

Reproduction: Female alligators build a nest out of grass and leaves that measures four feet high by about six feet in diameter. As the vegetation decomposes, the nest heats up – like a compost pile. The mama gator then lays up to around 60 eggs. Unlike other reptiles, mother alligators guard their nest against attacking predators like foxes, raccoons, or even humans. When the eggs hatch, the baby alligators cry for their mom to come and get them. The mama gator carries her little babies inside her toothy jaws carefully to the water and will continue to protect them for up to a year.

Conservation: Success story! Populations of alligators were once nearly hunted to extinction for food and leather goods. They were even used as a food source during the Civil War. It is now illegal to hunt, harass, collect, or even feed wild alligators. Alligator products sold today are from captive farmed populations.

Cool Facts: Alligators have the most powerful jaws in the animal kingdom. Their jaws have a crushing power in excess of 3,000 pounds per square inch! Alligators cannot chew, however, so when they eat large prey, they “death roll” in the water to break food up into more manageable portions.
Alligators do not naturally attack humans – they are usually afraid of us. Sometimes, people illegally feed alligators which can cause the gator to lose their fear of humans and look to them for food. Feeding wild animals can create a dangerous situation for humans and animals – that is why it is against the law.

“The scouts really love her doing the alligator courting song.” – Bob Becklund, Cubmaster, Fairfax, VA

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UPCOMING EVENTS

  1. Dulles Town Center Reptiles Alive Show

    February 22 @ 10:00 am - 10:45 am
  2. Reptiles Alive Show at Doodlehopper 4 Kids

    February 25 @ 1:00 pm - 1:30 pm

TESTIMONIALS

"It was fantastic and the whole party was into it. Tony was truly a wonderful educational presenter."

Rachel Karnes, Mom, Potomac Falls VA

5.0
2016-11-16T17:25:35+00:00

Rachel Karnes, Mom, Potomac Falls VA

"It was fantastic and the whole party was into it. Tony was truly a wonderful educational presenter."

"Thank you! The information provided to the kids was so educational and fun. I am a homeschool mom and the way the material was presented...

Patty Coote, Mom, Herndon VA

5.0
2016-11-16T17:28:52+00:00

Patty Coote, Mom, Herndon VA

"Thank you! The information provided to the kids was so educational and fun. I am a homeschool mom and the way the material was presented felt like we were at a fun event! The parents even remarked that they learned something. My son has a lifetime memory because of your program."

"Thank you for an incredible birthday party! All of the children had a wonderful experience. Caroline was so easy to work with and Tony did...

Marcie Blackstone, Mom, Clarksburg MD

5.0
2017-01-02T09:08:56+00:00

Marcie Blackstone, Mom, Clarksburg MD

"Thank you for an incredible birthday party! All of the children had a wonderful experience. Caroline was so easy to work with and Tony did a great job presenting to the kids!"

"Liz was great. She was prompt, organized, knowledgeable, friendly and fun. Having her do the show in our home was effortless, entertaining, and overall a...

Tammy Berkon, Mom, Alexandria VA

5.0
2017-01-02T09:11:36+00:00

Tammy Berkon, Mom, Alexandria VA

"Liz was great. She was prompt, organized, knowledgeable, friendly and fun. Having her do the show in our home was effortless, entertaining, and overall a wonderful experience for everyone!"

"I loved it so much. They teach you about the animals and you get to touch them! Rachel did a really wonderful job" 

Birthday girl and Mom, Chantilly VA

5.0
2017-01-02T09:12:19+00:00

Birthday girl and Mom, Chantilly VA

"I loved it so much. They teach you about the animals and you get to touch them! Rachel did a really wonderful job" 

"I am so glad we hired Reptiles Alive for my son's birthday. CobraCaroline and all her reptiles were a huge hit! All the kids loved...

Elizabeth Poppi, Mom, Reston VA

5.0
2017-01-02T09:12:52+00:00

Elizabeth Poppi, Mom, Reston VA

"I am so glad we hired Reptiles Alive for my son's birthday. CobraCaroline and all her reptiles were a huge hit! All the kids loved it! Even those who seemed a little reluctant were reaching out to pe the animals at the end. Caroline's energy and enthusiasm was contagious and we couldn't have asked for more!"

"The program was outstanding. Caroline was so knowledgeable and was able to teach the children at their level. She handled the animals very professionally and...

Joan L. Mancuso, Director Potomac Nursery School

5.0
2017-01-02T09:13:30+00:00

Joan L. Mancuso, Director Potomac Nursery School

"The program was outstanding. Caroline was so knowledgeable and was able to teach the children at their level. She handled the animals very professionally and the hands on experience for the children was well received. I would highly recommend this program--both for our age group (3-4 yr olds) and for elementary school children."
5.0
7

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Fax: (703) 560-7531