Alligators are one of the most vocal of all reptiles. They can produce a wide variety of sounds in different situations. Age is also a key factor; so, an adult alligator will not sound the same as a baby alligator. For example, a baby alligator will make a chirping sound when it feels threatened while an adult alligator will bellow.
So, yes, alligators make noise, and this can come in various sounds depending on the situation. It can be a loud grunt (bellow), which they often make during the mating season. They can also hiss when angry or trying to protect their young. Even though they do not bark or roar, their bellows can be quite loud.
In this article, we will look at the different sounds alligators make and why they make them. We focus on particular times such as the night hours, mating seasons, and when they are feeling happy.
What Noise Do Alligators Make?
There are three main sounds alligators make. They can bellow, hiss and chirp. These sounds are different and are usually in response to different situations.
Bellowing is a common sound in an alligator’s world. It sounds like a loud, aggressive grunt.
Alligators bellow by blowing out air from their lungs or exhaling either above or below the water depending on the species.
Chirping is a sound made by baby alligators.
As you read further, you will discover why alligators make certain kinds of sounds, and what they mean by these sounds.
Why Alligators Make Noise
Virtually every animal is intentional about the sound it makes. For example, dogs bark when they sense danger, frogs croak to attract a mate, roosters crow in the morning as a wake-up call, and mules bray to communicate or express hunger.
Likewise, alligators don’t just make noise. There’s a reason why they are extremely vocal. The male alligators bellow mostly during the breeding season. This is to attract mates and also deter other males. Female alligators also bellow but not as loud as the male alligators.
Also, an alligator will hiss when it feels threatened, frightened, or angry. So when you hear an alligator hiss, it’s best to keep off because it is most likely to launch an attack afterward.
Furthermore, baby alligators chirp when they are anxious. They do so to call a parent to come to their aid.
Do alligators make noise at night?
Nighttime is usually when alligators hunt. So, they will often lie motionless waiting for prey. As a result, the alligators are usually quiet during this time.
In contrast, when they are not hunting, alligators can be noisy at night. This might be to attract a mating partner or to announce their presence or dominance of a territory, thereby warning other male alligators to stay away.
In fact, alligators are most aggressive during the mating season. During this time, male alligators can have a home range of over 1,000 acres. So, you can hear their bellowing from as far as 165 yards. That is about 150 meters or 0.15 kilometers.
Do alligators make noise when they’re happy?
The first question should actually be “can alligators be happy?”. The emotion of an alligator is limited to two basic things – aggression and fear. There’s no proof that alligators can feel happiness.
When alligators feel afraid or angry, they can attack whatever is causing their fear or anger. And the way they respond to threats is by hissing. They tend to get aggressive afterward.
What Sound Does A Baby Alligator Make?
When a baby alligator is ready to hatch, it makes a high-pitched whimpering sound.
A baby alligator also chirps. It does this to get the attention of the mother or another baby alligator. Chirping can also be an indication of distress.
Alligators are not considered adults until they are up to six feet long. This can take up to 10 years. Baby alligators are called hatchlings and a group of hatchlings is called a pod. Hatchlings are about 8 inches long.
Do Alligators Make Frog Noises?
Alligators and bullfrogs are quite similar when it comes to vocalization. They both sound loud, deep, and resonant. They are most noisy from April to June. This is usually their mating season.
However, the noise from an alligator is usually louder than that of a bullfrog.
Just like alligators, bullfrogs are quite aggressive, especially when defending their territories. They are semi-aquatic and are the largest frogs in North America.
Other Sounds Made By An Alligator
Besides “bellowing”, an alligator can also make other sounds. These include:
A clicking sound from an alligator occurs when the tip of the tongue is lowered. Juvenile alligators make a high-pitched clicking sound to attract the attention of their mother. They can chirp or “click” when in danger; their mother will often come to their rescue.
A grunt is a short deep sound. Animals like hogs and pigs grunt. They do so to express pain or anger. Alligators make loud grunting noises during their mating season. This grunting sound is otherwise called bellowing.
Male alligators grunt to attract female mates.
Growling is a low, aggressive sound. Alligators also growl, especially when you get too close to them. This is usually a warning to back off. Other animals that also growl include badgers, dogs, grizzly bears, black bears, gurnards, cats, ghost crabs, etc.
Generally, when an animal growls at you, it’s a sign it feels threatened or is simply trying to scare you away. Growling is also a way to show dominance.
To summarize this article, we have stated that alligators make noise. They bellow to exert dominance over a particular territory or to attract a female.
They also hiss to warn and deter intruders. The mating season, usually between April to June, is the time when they are most aggressive.
Besides the adults, baby alligators or hatchlings also make noise. They chirp when in distress or danger to call for help.