Several years ago I did a blog post on alligators, which featured photos of some fine specimens I’d encountered in the Everglades, as well as a brief discussion of their life history. I’ve not a lot to add to that, but I did learn something interesting during my recent trip to the River of Grass. Alligator mothers protect their young hatchlings for up to 2 years. I had no idea that the maternal instinct was so strong in these reptiles. It makes sense for the survival of the species, because baby alligators are at the bottom of the food chain. The photo of a mother and her hatchlings below prove it.
You won’t see alligators at every stop in the Everglades, but a recommended place to see them is Shark Valley. From the Observation Tower in Shark Valley I got a birds eye view of a gator swimming (see top photo above). They’re surprisingly agile for such large animals when in the water.
I’m still in equal parts fascinated and repelled by alligators. In their own way they’re beautifully designed to do what they do. On the other hand, they still make the hair on the back of my neck stand on end when they glare at me.
Here’s some more photos of gators from my recent trip. Believe it or not, this represents less than 25% of those we encountered in a single day:
(Click on thumbnails enlarge, right arrow to advance slideshow)