Did you know? Alligator eggs are squishy!
Alligators can grow big and tough, but they begin life in tiny eggs. American alligators lay eggs in the early summer. A female alligator builds a nest and lays 20 to 50 eggs.
At first, the eggs are hard like chicken eggs. This is because the egg has two layers. The outer layer is hard, but the inner layer is soft like leather.
As the alligator grows in the egg, the hard outer layer gets thinner and thinner. By the time the alligator hatches, the egg will be softer because the hard layer will almost be gone!
The baby alligator hatches using its egg tooth. An egg tooth is a tiny spike on the end of the alligator’s nose. After a few weeks, the egg tooth disappears. A baby chicken, called a chick, has an egg tooth too.
Alligators can be male or female. Whether they are male or female depends on the temperature of the nest. If the eggs are warm, the baby alligators will be male. If the eggs are cooler, the baby alligators will be female.