Bird #14 - Help!!
Bird #15 - Help!!
Now for Part III - the Alligators at Shark Valley. You would be hard pressed to be this close to this many alligators that were not in a Zoo. They are all along the tram path, especially in the first part which has a canal on the right side. Big one, little ones and my favorite...Momma and her babies. Be sure to click on them to enlarge the pictures.
Here's looking at you...
It's hard growing up in the Everglades...
View from the top of the tower...
Momma and New Babies...
Closeup of new babies...
It is hard to think of alligators as caring and nurturing creatures, but seeing the momma gator with her new babies reminded me that I had read that they are very protective. So I googled Momma Gators and found out some interesting facts:
• Alligator breeding season in Florida begins in April and runs through the end of May. It was surprising to see these babies in January.
• The female alligator builds a nest. This is also called a mound.
• The female alligator lays eggs over a two week period.
• The female alligator lays about 35 to 40 eggs. This is called a "clutch"
• Alligator eggs are creamy white in color. These eggs are about the size of a goose egg.
• Baby alligators emerge from their egg after about 65 days.
• The mother alligator protects the nest.
• The mother alligator will actually assist the hatchlings to break out of their shells. The mother hears the baby grunt form inside the shell. She will then lift the egg in her mouth and roll it around against the roof of her mouth with her tongue. This cracks the egg and the little one is able to escape.
• The mother alligator will often carry the new born to the water.
• Alligator mothers often remain with their young for several months.
• While the eggs are incubating, higher temperatures, of 90 to 93 degrees Fahrenheit result in males while slightly cooler temperatures, 82 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit result in females.
• If a baby issues a distress call, which is a series of grunt sounds, the mother alligator or other adults will respond quickly to the aid of the babies.
Isn't nature just amazing!!