Wild Animals

Top 10 Animal Moms

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Alligator
Jeff Foott/DCL |

Al Gore would be so proud — the female alligator has got to have one of the "greenest" pregnancies this side of the ozone. Her nest is a heap of rotting vegetation (the ultimate compost pile!) that produces heat so she doesn't have to sit on her eggs. Scientists use special thermometers to monitor the two-month incubation period in these nests, and the heat does more than bring these babies to fruition. If the temperature is less than 88 degrees, break out the pink, but if it tops 91, it's a boy! Once the babies are born, the mothers carry them around in their jaw for protection, assisting them to the water, where they will spend their first years eating fish, insects, snails and crustaceans. Wonder if that comes puréed?

HELLO
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