Alligators Are Really Good Mothers, and a Collage for LMAC #88

in Let's Make a Collagelast year (edited)


Alligators have a well-deserved reputation for being ruthless killers. Basically, alligators will eat anything they can swallow. This is why I found it surprising that an alligator mother is a devoted parent. The father, on the other hand, will not likely be asked to babysit. He might consider his offspring a tasty meal.

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As soon as I saw @shaka's template photo this week I thought of an alligator. The island in the background looked like an alligator relaxing in the sun.

@shaka's photo:
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I knew then that the theme of my collage would be alligators and I thought mother alligators would offer a neat perspective.

Mother Alligator With Her Young at an Alligator Farm
Image credit: Unknown. 1910. Public domain.

There are two types of alligators in the world: the Chinese alligator and the American alligator.

Chinese Alligator
chinese alligators.jpg
Image credit:J. Patrick Fischer. CC 3.0 license.

The Chinese alligator is smaller. The female on the average is 4 1/2 feet, the male 5 feet. American alligators are much larger: females average 8 feet and males average over 11 feet.

American Alligator
American  alligators.jpg
Image credit: Bobyellow. CC 4.0 license

The information I have here is about the American alligator, although I understand Chinese alligators mothers are attentive, also.

The Nest, Everglades National Park, Florida, USA
Alligator nest Picture everglades NancyHeise public.jpg
Image credit: Nancy Heise. Public domain

Female alligators are monogamous (one mate each season). Male alligators are polygamous. Males compete for the females. Mating takes place usually in early May and egg laying occurs in late June or early July. The mother has spent the weeks between mating and laying building a huge nest which may be ten feet in diameter.

Alligator Eggs
allibator eggs NPS everglades public.jpg
Image credit: NPS Everglades. Public domain.

The alligator can lay up to 90 eggs. She keeps them warm for about 65 days. When it's time for them to hatch, they may start chirping to alert her. Also, it is said the chirping helps to establish a bond between mother and babies before they are born. She may assist them in hatching out.

This Youtube video shows a mother trying to protect her eggs and her young, in what seems to be a very dangerous neighborhood.

The sex of the hatchling is determined by the temperature of the nest. Warmer temperatures, around 93 degrees Fahrenheit, yields male offspring. Cooler temperatures, around 86 degrees yields female offspring. Temperatures in between may yield a mix of female and male.

Baby Alligator in Water
baby alligator in water.jpg
Image credit: Manne1409 on Pixabay

Alligators reach maturity (live on their own) when they are about six feet long. The life span of an alligator is between 35 and 50 years in the wild and may be as much as 70 or 80 in captivity. But first alligators have to make it out of the nest and into water. It is estimated that about 42-73% of the eggs hatch successfully. Of those hatchlings it is estimated that maybe 1% manage to reach maturity.

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My Collage

I don't compete in the contest, but throw myself into this exercise every week with great enthusiasm.

I tried to give the alligators a home that resembled a marsh. Alligators don't really like saltwater environments that much. In the end, I couldn't decide whether to add more color (with flowers) but decided against it.
Here's the picture with color:

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Alligator RJA 1988 Pixabay
Alligator mouth Rajeven MSN Unsplash
Alligator eggs public NASA Wikimedia Commons
National Park Service alligator and eggs public Wikimedia Commons
Eggs New Students reference work 1923 public Wikimedia Commons
Baby alligator Michelleroponi Pixabay
Swimming baby Manne1409 Pixabay
Walking baby jchoutx Pixabay
Swamp michael gaida Pixabay
Swamp trees terimakahsi0 Pixabay
Tropical flower MadebyNastia Pixabay
Tropical flower yellow hernanvargasp Pixabay

I used a Lunapic filter to soften the overall image.

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Thank you, @shaka for another exercise in creativity. And thank you, LMAC community, for your enthusiasm and engagement. LMAC is a welcoming community. Anyone who wants to create may join. Rules may be found on @shaka's blog. We have a teacher, @quantumg, who posts lessons in our school and answers questions. If you drop in our Discord channel you can meet some members.


Please read this blog, LMAC School - Public Domain Picture sources (Free Materials for creating collages), written by @quantumg, which discusses public domain issues. The blog offers links to sources that offer public domain pictures. Using public domain pictures is an absolutely essential requirement for all collages submitted in the LMAC contest.

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Thank you for reading my blog

Hive on!


Now that you mentioned it I can see the Island in the shape of an alligator. Great theme using your imagination and adding alligators, A.G. Even though alligators are dangerous yours are smiling and it gives a lighthearted happy feel to your collage.

I couldn’t believe all the babies that one alligator had. No wonder there are so many of them in Florida.

Hello my friend, @redheadpei. Maybe because I looked at the picture from a distance at first, I saw an alligator. The rest is history ;))

They have a long life and a lot of babies, but surviving infancy (even gestation) and childhood is the challenge. If they make it that far, they have a shot at a long life. One thing I read that was kind of startling: when they do alligator autopsies, they often find pieces of other alligators. These creatures will eat just about anything :))

Enjoy the week ahead. No storms on the horizon, I believe.

Thanks A.G. You have a wonderful week.🌸


Hello @agmoore. Thanks for the information on alligators. I didn't know that fathers weren't welcome near the nest. Doesn't he want offspring to carry on his namesake?

Nice collage with all the photos of the two different types of alligators.

Take care.

His namesake😂

Thanks for the visit. I loved learning this stuff and I loved looking at the YouTube videos. I think I'm a country girl at heart.

Have a great week. Hope you are having fun with the collages!

I'm sorry to be so late with my comment. As you know, I've been in a bit of an unpleasant health situation, so a lot of work has been left undone... But as always, I was really excited to see and read your edu-collage this week.

Most zoos only have one type of alligator at a time. So I haven't noticed the difference in size yet. But that is impressive. American alligators grow almost as big as some of the smaller crocodiles. I have learned something new again and this is nice. :-)

Not to be forgotten, it is a very beautiful collage!

I hope you are better my friend. I wanted to ask Discord didn't want to be pesky. The etiquette of Discord sometimes is challenging for me. I'm not a very chatty person. (Even less so in the physical world).

Thank you for the kind words. I always have more confidence in my blog than in my collage, but it doesn't matter. I really look forward to using that side of my brain. It feels like a good exercise--technical analysis comes into it also.

Take care of yourself. Crazy times these days. I don't know if you are anywhere near the flooding. Dreadful. Actually influenced the collage I'm making this week.

This is an enlightening post on alligators! I see them only in zoos and that was like ages ago, when I was a child. They always looked scary to me, maybe because of the teeth! 😄

Alligators can lay up to 90 eggs? Means they should be flooding the earth taking into account their lifespan.

Your collage is colourful and lovely! 🙂

Thank you @kemmyb for visiting and reading my blog. I was fascinated by the alligators. Stuff I left out is also remarkable: a mother will take the young and carry them in her mouth, without hurting them. Thank you for the kind words about my collage. I have fun every week. This is the best art adventure for someone who is not an artist.

Take care of yourself. Be happy!

Earth Alligators may be good parents but the reptile mutated Paris and Janeway abandoned their babies on a planet in the Delta Quadrant.

New to me. Thank you!

Hello friend, excellent information on the elbows, as the mother protected her eggs, there are other species that eat her children, this is something strange in animals.

Thank you my friend, @cetb2008. I was very impressed also by the maternal instinct. I know we are not supposed to anthropomorphize animals. However, I respect good parenting in any creature. I even think the little alligators are cute :))

Hope you and your family are well. Enjoy the summer. It must be hot there.

Thanks friend it is hot but it is not strong like in other states of my country, I hope you and your family are doing well,

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Gracias, @kismeri, por su apoyo. I appreciate your kind words. I also did not know about alligator moms. Very impressive, isn't it?

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