All About Reptiles
Reptiles are animals that lay eggs. Their skin is covered with scales or bony plates.
Reptiles are born on land and are on their own at birth. Most reptiles only eat meat and eat insects, other reptiles and small animals.
Crocodiles, alligators, turtles, lizards, and snakes are reptiles. The biggest reptile is the saltwater crocodile.
Today there are over one million American alligators in the world. They live in freshwater rivers, lakes, swamps and marshes across the Southeastern United States. They feed on fish, turtles, snakes, birds, mammals and anything else they can snap up. Alligators have between 74 and 80 teeth in their mouth at a time.
Alligators have large, lizard-like bodies with a powerful tail and four short, thick legs. Adult alligators are an olive-brown or black colour. They are excellent swimmers and can stay underwater for 20 minutes if they are hunting prey.
A female alligator builds a nest for her hatchlings using leaves, twigs and mud. She lays between 25 to 60 eggs and then covers them with more leaves which helps keep them warm. When they start to hatch, the young alligators make a high-pitched croaking noise which alerts the mother to dig them out. She then carries the hatchlings in her mouth to the water.
Young alligators have many predators, including raccoons, bobcats, snakes, and birds which is why they stay with their mother for two years. Scientists say that the American alligator is more than 150 million years old!