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Observations on Maternal Behavior of the American Alligator, Alligator mississippiensis

R. Howard Hunt and Myrna E. Watanabe
Journal of Herpetology
Vol. 16, No. 3 (Sep., 1982), pp. 235-239
DOI: 10.2307/1563716
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1563716
Page Count: 5
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Observations on Maternal Behavior of the American Alligator, Alligator mississippiensis
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Abstract

Maternal behavior of four female alligators was observed over a six year period at Okefenokee Swamp, Georgia. Nursery areas and dens were noted and described. Mother-offspring interactions involving vocalizations were observed including two instances of mothers vocalizing while moving their pods to new nursery areas. Three of the females attacked without injuring juveniles mixing with pods of younger animals and females guarded nests and young from human intrusion. Vocal interactions between mothers and offspring indicate the possibility of a temporal relationship between maternal vocalizations and/or movements and offspring vocalizations and/or movements but this cannot be confirmed statistically at this time.

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