Water dance

In the spring of the year a young male alligator’s fancy turns to love like most animals on this plant. If you are around the swamps and marshes of the southern United States you might hear their song. An alligator’s call serves two purposes, one to attract females and the second is a warning to other males in the area – I’m here!

If you’ve never heard one before, it is a very low rumbling sound. Much like pulling up to a kid driving a car, first thing you notice is the deep pulsating thump, thump, thump, sound of his music. As you approach a little closer you notice the windows in the car are vibrating and finally you can actually feel the beat of the music (I use that term loosely) in your chest. That’s the call of a male American alligator on a slightly smaller scale.

A really cool thing happens if you are close enough to see him at the time, as you will get to witness something very amazing indeed. The male generally rises to the water’s surface just before it makes his call, then arches his back and begins to bellow. As he does, the shallow pool of water remaining on his back dances to the baritone pitch of his song. Immediately you are immersed in sound, not only do you hear the call – but you can feel the deep vibrations pierce your body, and see the water dance with your very own eyes.

Jerry Dalrymple

Wildlife and Nature Photography

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