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As the weather warms up, so do the alligators

In a couple of weeks, their mating season starts and you may even hear dinosaur-like noises.
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto
Alligator over and under water in the Florida Everglades.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — As the weather gets warmer, alligators are more likely to come out for mating season in Tampa Bay and all across Florida.

The video below shared today by Bobby Wummer Photography shows just how loud of a roar alligators can make.

According to Gator Alley Farm, adult alligators engage in complex mating rituals. Their search begins by announcing their presence with a low bellowing sound to attract a mate. Males will also slap the water with their jaws and lift their tails high, causing vibrations throughout the swamp. They do use scents as well, releasing an odor from their musk glands.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) says that typically courtship begins in early April, and mating occurs in May or June. 

Females build a mound nest of soil and vegetation and deposit approximately 32 to 46 eggs in late June or early July. Incubation requires approximately 60-65 days, and hatching occurs in late August or early September.

Of those eggs, an estimated four alligators will reach maturity. Alligators are cold blooded and they regulate their body temperature by basking in the sun or moving to areas with warmer or cooler air or water. 

They are most active when temperatures are between 82-92 degrees. FWC says they stop feeding when the temperature drops below approximately 70 degrees, and they become dormant below 55 degrees. Alligators are dormant throughout much of the winter. 

If you are concerned about an alligator, you can call FWC’s toll-free Nuisance Alligator Hotline at 866-392-4286. The FWC will dispatch one of its contracted nuisance alligator trappers to resolve the situation.

You should never feed an alligator and keep your distance if you see one. Swim only in designated swimming areas during daylight hours. And keep pets on a leash and away from the water.

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