Why Do Female Alligators Bury Their Eggs?

An alligator doesn’t bury her babies, she buries the eggs from which they will eventually emerge.

Alligators make homes, or dens, for themselves underground. These are always partially filled with water. When it is time to lay the eggs, the female alligator makes a large pile of mud, leaves, and grass, usually about seven feet wide at the base.

In a cavity in this mound she will lay between twenty and seventy eggs. She then brings more nesting materials and with the movement of her body is able to seal the eggs inside what is now a mud shell. Her eggs and future babies are thus protected from predators.

Some ten weeks later, sounds will be heard by the mother when she comes on one of her daily visits. She breaks open the hard shells and releases her tiny, yellow-and-black children, who head for the nearest water.

Strangely enough, alligators can be found only in two widely separated parts of the earth, the upper Yangtse River Valley in China and the Southeastern United States.