Camera catches 8-foot alligator: something interesting is in her mouth

Camera catches 8-foot alligator Animal World

Camera captured how mother alligator held her babies in her mouth

In the Oklahoma wilderness,camera captured female alligators spend months building nests for their babies, anxiously awaiting the moment their brood finally hatches. Over the past few months, researchers at Southwestern Adventist University and Southeastern Oklahoma State University have monitored one mother alligator in particular. All their attention paid off when they recently checked their trail cameras and were shocked to find her carrying something in her mouth.

Upon closer inspection, they realized she was holding her babies in a very toothy embrace.

Once the mother alligator heard her babies calling, she knew she had to move them closer to the water.

Very carefully, she picked them up in her mouth and deposited them by the shore.

According to Smithsonian’s National Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute, newly hatched baby alligators are about 6 to 8 inches long. These babies are born out of a nest of about 35 to 50 eggs, though some alligators have been found to lay up to 90 eggs.

“It is very common for a mother alligator to dig the hatchlings out of the nest and transport them to the water,” told Dr. Jared Wood, a researcher at Southwestern Adventist University. “Their chances of survival are higher in water than on land.”

Although this behavior is common, researchers were still overjoyed to have captured th moment on camera.

“Checking the footage is like getting up for Christmas when you’re a kid,” Wood said. “You just never know what amazing behavior you will capture. I always get excited when I find a new, special video.”

This mother alligator will live with her babies all winter before sending them off on their own in the spring, summer and fall. However, the offspring will continue to spend winters with their mother for up to three years.

Though this was an exciting day for researchers, for the mama alligator, it was just another motherly duty. To her, all that matters is keeping her family safe.

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