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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We had a great experience with Reptiles Alive for my daughter’s 6th birthday party. Rachel arrived exactly on time, set up quickly, and immediately engaged the group of curious children. We had an impromptu dance party while waiting for last minute guests and Rachel was very accommodating. The children LOVED the show!! And my soon-to-be 11 year old wants them to come for his birthday! I highly recommend Reptiles Alive for your next event!read more

Kelly Maguire

Kelly Maguire

22:57 12 Mar 18

We just had Reptiles Alive come to our preschool and the kids loved it!! We had 4 shows over 2 days to accommodate all our children and everything went great! Caroline was very easy to work with and quick to respond to all my emails. She was our presenter too and was early each day and ready to go when the kids arrived. She really geared her show towards our audience (2-5yr olds) and had them laughing and answering her questions and touching the animals. It was perfect… we would definitely book them again!!read more

Lauren Dolinski

Lauren Dolinski

20:47 01 Mar 18

We booked Reptiles Alive for our son’s 7th birthday party. Miss Rachel put on an amazing show for the 20 kids we had over. The highlight was when my son and I had the chance to hold a long and surprisingly heavy boa constrictor named Sunflower. The show was both educational and fun for the kids, and it kept them captivated for a full hour – priceless!!read more

Rick Jandrain

Rick Jandrain

01:53 06 Feb 18

Rachel is an awesome instructor and very good with many kids. The reptiles were fascinating. This was a great birthday party for my daughter and her second grade more

Robert McKeon

Robert McKeon

23:26 26 Feb 18

We invited Reptiles Alive for our birthday party. Ms. Rachel did a wonderful job to educate the kids about the fun facts of Reptiles and also kept them entertained and focused. It’s not a easy job facing a bunch of 7-year-old boys and 3-year-old preschoolers. We highly recommend Reptiles Alive show. It’s fun and full of knowledge!read more

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Tianchan Niu

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