all about baby alligators

[ALL ABOUT] Baby Alligators

Baby Alligators are some of the cutest little reptiles you have ever seen but they grow up to be big, dangerous animals.

But, before that happens, let’s just enjoy learning about the cute little things!

Today, let’s talk about:

  • What baby alligators are called?
  • What does a baby alligator look like?
  • What is the bite force of a baby alligator?
  • And much more!
baby alligator

What is a Baby Alligator Called?

A baby alligator is called a hatchling. The name comes form the fact that they hatch from eggs. Hatchlings are about 6-18 inches long when born and weigh about 1/2 pound.

What determines the gender of an alligator?

Believe it or not, the gender of the hatchlings depends on the temperature of the nest.

Studies found that in the American alligator’s eggs, incubation at 34 ºC (93.2 ºF) and above produces mostly males, while incubation at or lower 30 ºC (86ºF) produces mostly females.


what does a baby alligator look like?

Baby alligators are adorable. They look like small lizards with a lot of teeth.

They don’t even look scary like their parents do.

This is the stage that gets a lot of people in trouble. The cuteness of the baby alligators tricks them into thinking that they might make a good pet.

person holding an alligator hatchling

However, baby alligators do not make good pets.

I’ll explain more later.

What sound does a baby alligator make?

A baby alligator makes several sounds that will make you think you’re listening to a kitten.

Here is a short video where you can hear the baby alligator’s kitten noises.

They also make a repetitive noise that reminds me of the “popping” sound of a howler monkey or the chirping of a bird.

Here is a video that demonstrates the “popping” sounds. It’s very hard to describe a sound so I’ll let you hear for yourself.

How long does a baby alligator stay with its mother?

Surprisingly, a baby alligator will stay with its mother for about a year.

During that time, she will protect her babies from predators such a raccoons, otters, fish and more.

Once the young alligators reach four feet in length, they’re considered virtually invulnerable in the wild.


What is the bite force of a baby alligator?

I did tons of research on this topic and came up empty-handed every time.

So, I decided to reach out to an expert.

I contacted Michael Womer also known as “The Gator Crusader.” I found him on YouTube when I was researching another topic about baby alligators.

This guy knows ALL about alligators.

I said, “Can you help me? Do you know the bite force of a baby alligator and/or can you describe what it feels like to get bit by one?

His answer was very informative.

First he explained that it depends on what I meant by “baby.”

Hmm. Good point.

He said, “If you mean straight out of the egg, five inches long, less than a year old alligator; their bite feels like a strong clothespin with tiny sharp teeth sticking out. It is more of a surprise than pain. But they are born with a full set of 80-82 very sharp little teeth.”

Well, that didn’t sound too bad.

Then he explained that some people consider an alligator to be a “baby” if it’s somewhere under three feet simply because they are small.

He explained, “At that size they can crush smaller turtle shells and with a good death roll remove fingers and possibly limbs.”

I know I underestimated the power of a “baby” alligator. I never thought an alligator under three feet could possible take off my arm.

He went on to share a story with me about a fellow alligator catching friend of his. He said his friend was bitten while performing a show and his hand was just barely attached to his arm.

“I only saw pictures and assumed this was done by a large Gator due to the intense damage. This person had to have several surgeries and multiple skin grafts to repair the significant damage done. Only later did I discover this was done by a “small” 2-3 foot long gator that was able to shake its head vigorously in a chainsaw like motion and even get in a death roll. Although usually a bite from this size gator (2-3 foot long) is about equal to a bad dog bite.”

What we have learned is that the bite force of an “infant” alligator is similar to the pinch of a clothes pin but an alligator’s bite gets dangerous quickly.

Check out this video by the Gator Crusader. It’s all about those strong alligator jaws!

Thank you Gator Crusader for being such a great help!

How fast do baby alligators grow?

Baby alligators grow quickly from birth through age five.

The American alligator is born at 1-foot and grow about a foot a year on average.


Male alligators continue to grow their entire lives whereas female alligators usually stop growing around 10 feet in length.

Can I have a baby alligator as a pet?

Some states will allow you to have an alligator as a pet with no questions asked. Other states, like Florida, require you to have a permit and a bit of an alligator education first.

Here in Arkansas, you cannot have a pet alligator.

However, there is a rumor that says there is an old Arkansas law that states that you cannot keep your pet alligator in your bathtub.

I don’t know how things were “back then” but you cannot have a pet alligator now.

Do Alligators Make Good Pets?

Some people would say that alligators make great pets but, as for the general public, alligators make terrible pets.

Why do alligators make bad pets?

This is mostly self-explanatory but we’ll discuss it anyway.

First, alligators grow a lot and they grow fast. Those baby alligators are cute but they don’t stay small for very long.

Before you know it, they will need a much larger space to live and they will require more food each week.

That brings me to my second point, alligators eat a lot of food per week!

Most adult alligators will eat almost 40 pounds of food per week.

With current food prices, that could get very expensive.

Last but not least, alligators are dangerous. They can be very unpredictable and they are extremely strong.

Those two traits combined means that you never know when this animal might see YOU as lunch.

They are not puppies. They are wild alligators.

Don’t miss this:
What Does It Mean When Alligators Bellow?

or this:
Can Alligators Climb Trees? [YES!]

Related articles