15 thoughts on “#NotesFromTheRiver – A Whole Lotta Chompin’ Goin’ On!

    • Glad you enjoyed it, Linda. All the “regular alligator” posts are now done. But next week, the magical white alligators will make their appearance. Such magnificent animals! Stay tuned! šŸ™‚

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    • Stick around, Kid. You’ll learn new things! Hahahaha. Assuming you WANT to learn about Florida wildlife and habitat. šŸ˜€

      Most reptiles lay eggs, though some bear live young. All crocodilians (I think there are 23 species of crocodilians: two alligators, six caimans, 14 crocodiles and 1 species of gharial) lay eggs, as far as I know. The Mama alligators build a huge nest out of mounded up grass and mud, and bury the eggs inside. Heat from the decaying vegetation is what incubates the eggs. After they hatch, as the pictures show, she guards those babies for a couple of years. She’s all like, “Precious babies, sweet babies, adorable babies getting bigger. And bigger. Wait. FOOD!” And then she’ll eat them. šŸ˜Æ

      And yes, I wouldn’t want to be staring down a mouth like that. They are formidable animals, for sure, and must be respected. (I respect them so much, I do NOT swim in our lakes and rivers. If that sounds suspiciously like fear to you, I can live with that. šŸ˜€ šŸ˜€ šŸ˜€ )

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        • Once they reach a certain size, she doesn’t recognize them anymore. But hey, lots of things eat their young, believe it or not. Ever raise guppies? Trust me, big fish eat little fish, with no regard to whose offspring they are. And many animals will turn on their young and at the very least run them off after they reach a certain age.

          But I don’t swim in those waters, either. Nope. Nuh-uh. I like being ON them, not IN them. šŸ˜€ (You’ll find that for some odd reason, Gunnar Wolfe in Swamp Ghosts has some of the same hang-ups. Hmmm.) šŸ˜€

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    • Well, no real need to be frightened by this little guy. He’s only about 10″ long or so. šŸ˜€ My ancient, toothless dachshund is probably more dangerous. Unless, of course, this one is lying right next to mama. In which case, run away. Run AWAAAAY! šŸ˜€

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      • Noooo…. Mama gator is not so cute. (I’m actually studying crocs and alligators with my little one now and it’s tough to tell the difference sometimes. Longer, thinner snout and different set of teeth is all I know. I’d stay away from both, though.) šŸ˜‰

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        • Funny you should mention that. This might help. I’ve been running a series of posts on alligators, and the very first one is how to tell the difference between alligators and crocodiles, with some pretty good photos to illustrate it. Check here:
          http://stjohnsriverecotours.com/index.php/blog/notesfromtheriver-what-a-croc-or-is-it-part-1

          Lots of feedback from these #NotesFromTheRiver posts on alligators. I’ve done three so far, and this coming Wednesday will be the 4th and last of the series, featuring the rarest of them all, the white alligators, both albino and leucistic. Hope you’ll check it out. On Wednesdays, I always post the link to the new one here. šŸ™‚

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          • Oh! Thank you! I’ll use that this week. (Love those last two photos.) I do see the teeth and head shape identifying them clearly but, thing is, I don’t EVER want to be close enough to either of these fine creatures to be able to tell the difference. Know what I mean? šŸ˜‰

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            • Yep, but they are surprisingly obvious, even from a distance. If you were on a tour, say, and saw one lying on the riverbank, the shape of the head and color would likely give it away. Certainly, if you know what you’re looking for. And there is a real difference in color, even from a distance, too. Also, your location factors hugely into the ID process. I’ve never seen a crocodile in central Florida, because they don’t do well in colder weather, and our winters here have some pretty cold days, now and then. So the crocs stay in south Florida. Down there, you could definitely see both. In the Orlando area, it is almost always going to be an alligator. So when you combine head shape, color, and location, it’s pretty helpful. Honest. šŸ˜€

              I love those last 2 pics, too. I believe that was taken in a drainage ditch. Even that little bit of the head and the dark color tells me it’s an alligator, too, so it doesn’t take much. Of course, whether gator or croc, my suggestion is stay out of range. Period. šŸ˜€

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