Comments: American alligators inhabit fresh and brackish marshes, ponds, lakes, rivers, swamps, bayous, canals, and large spring runs. They often bask on partially submerged logs or on land next to the water. Alligators dig dens in river or lake margins or in marshes; they spend cold winter and drought periods in the den They depend on access to air holes to survive in ice-covered ponds (Brandt and Mazotti 1990).
Copulation occurs in shallow water. Females deposit eggs in large mounded nests made of leaves, mud, rotting vegetation, rocks, or other debris. Nests are built in marshes or at lake or river margins. In north-central Florida, alligators nested in close proximity to permanent water, used a wide variety of available plant materials and soil in constructing nest (Goodwin and Marion 1978). Turtles (e.g., Pseudemys nelsoni) often lay eggs in alligator nests.