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American Alligator - Now on Exhibit!

How do I Grow?

Enter the Museum's Great Hall and explore the life cycle of young animals. Sure to hatch everyone's curiosity exhibits include baby chicks, tadpoles and mice.

Don't miss our friends, the tadpoles, in different stages of metamorphosis some have hind legs others have hind and front legs and a shrinking tail. Soon to be froglets these tadpoles will one day become fantastic juvenile bullfrogs (Rana catesbeiana).

New on exhibit! We're excited to welcome an American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) to Beginnings. Based on his size - which is about 3 feet in length - it is estimated that he is relatively new to the world at only 2.5 years old. Since our alligator friend is still a juvenile he currently has yellow banding along his tail, but as he grows up he will lose these yellow markings and his tail will turn olive brown and black while the areas around his jaw, neck, and belly will remain a creamy white color.

Make sure to keep your ears open when visiting him. Alligators are capable of making a number of vocalizations including hissing, grunting, bellowing, distress yelps and croaking. And while he may have plenty to say, you probably won't catch him having many meals. Since they are ectothermic (cold-blooded), alligators do not need too eat much. In fact, a 100 pound dog will eat more in a year than an 800 pound alligator!

Please join us in welcoming our newest addition to Charlotte Nature Museum.

If you'd like to learn more about the American alligator, you can download our Education Resource one sheet for fun facts, frequently asked questions and even a fancy poem (just click on the link to the right of your screen).

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