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WILD Facts: Raising gators
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American alligators live in a variety of wetlands. In Georgia, these large reptiles mostly are found south toward the Okefenokee and along the coast. However, their range also extends north to the upper coastal plain.
In May, deep, bellowing calls attract mates. By June, alligator pairs have bred. Shortly thereafter, females lay up to 60 eggs in nests made of vegetation, sticks and mud. More nest material placed on top of the eggs incubates them, and the young hatch out 65 days later. The temperature during development determines the sex of the young: 82-86 degrees Fahrenheit forms females; 90-93 degrees Fahrenheit yields males, and a mix is found in between those temperatures.
WILD Facts is a regular feature written by Linda May, a wildlife interpretive specialist with the Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division.
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