American Alligator

Our American Alligator, found at Southwick's Zoo in Mendon MA

Where to find the American Alligator (besides Southwick's Zoo in Mendon, MA!)
American Alligator Facts
American Alligator
Alligator mississippiensis

Life Span
Wild: 30-50 years
Captivity: 60-80 years
8-15 feet
Average Weight
600-1,000 lbs
Group Name
Group Size
Name of Young

Our American Alligator, found at Southwick's Zoo in Mendon MAFacts

  • Alligators have 74 to 80 teeth in their mouth at a time. As teeth wear down they are replaced. An alligator may go through 2,000 to 3,000 teeth in a lifetime.
  • Alligators are considered living fossils. The species can be traced back 230 million years and has retained many of its original characteristics.
  • In 1967, the American alligator was placed on the endangered species list as the result of over hunting and habitat loss. After conservation efforts, their population was declared recovered in 1987.
  • The gender of a baby alligator is determined by the temperature of the nest. Temperatures up to 86 degrees result in mostly females, and over 93 degrees will result in mostly males.
  • Alligators do not have vocal cords, but males can bellow by pushing air out of their lungs. This noise is used to attract a mate.

Did You Know?

Unlike many reptiles, alligators do provide parental care to their young. The mother will fiercely protect her nest from intruders. Once the eggs hatch, she moves the hatchlings to a safe area and continues to protect them for a few months.