Have you ever heard an alligator roar? It is that time of the year for amorous gators to voice their lovelorn bellows. Richard Moore takes us out where the gators are roaring.
Love is in the air or more precisely in the water, as it is alligator mating season in southernmost Texas. Recent rains have provided the toothy denizens of Rio Grande Valley waterways with plenty of habitat to proclaim their love and protect territory.
Both male and female alligators bellow to attract mates, and the male’s throaty roars are resounding from the big lake at Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge.
This bull gator raises his body out of the water with tail arched, head aloft, filling his lungs with air then lowers his body and lets loose an impressive roar.
Scientists have recently discovered that the deep-throated roar of a bull gator communicates cues of vital importance. Resonance frequencies are apparently accurate predictors of body size, as these frequencies are produced depending on the length of the vocal tract.
Larger alligators have longer vocal tracts and therefore lower resonance. So, in other words, the bigger the gator the mightier the roar.
Now, this comes in handy, particularly for larger males, as female gators will not mate with a male smaller than themselves.
The only problem with enjoying the summer gator concert is being able to hear it over the drone of millions of buzzing mosquitoes.
If you are thinking about heading out to the refuge to hear the gators roars, be sure and take plenty of mosquito repellent, as there is a world-class hatch out of the pesky skeeters.
As an added word of caution, the bountiful rains have forced Diamondback rattlesnakes out of their inundated haunts, so listen for that terrestrial telltale rattle along with that mighty aquatic roar….that is if you can discern them over the incessant mosquito buzzing.