Get Out! Explore Texas Fun Stuff Wild Things

Tortuga Tex and the American Alligator - Text Version

see comic book version

You ever get the feeling you’re being watched?

Lucky for me this big guy is my friend, max. Tortuga Tex here, visiting a coastal marsh to learn more about the american alligator (Alligator mississippiensis).

Male alligators can grow to 16 feet and 400 pounds! Females grow to about 9 feet and 160 pounds! Young eat insects, frogs, and small fish, while adults eat turtles, fish, birds and small mammals. And they can hold their breath underwater for up to an hour!

Females build nests of mud and plants, and lay 35 – 50 eggs. The eggs are covered up and protected until the young hatch, about 65 days later. The young break their shells with a special tooth, then they chirp until their mom comes and digs them out of the nest.

Alligators can be found along the Texas gulf coast, and in some east Texas rivers. Alligators were once in danger of extinction, but good hunting rules and habitat protection have resulted in healthy populations, a real success story!

I hope you all will join me next time. ‘Till then, this is Tortuga Tex asking you to be a part of protecting our environment. It’s the only one we’ve got.

Adios, amigos!

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