The sex of gator hatchlings is determined by the temperature in the nest and is fixed within 7 to 21 days of the start of incubation.
Nests constructed on leaves are hotter than those constructed on wet marsh; the former tend to produce males and the latter, females. The natural sex ratio at hatching is five females to one male.
The mother will defend the nest from predators and will assist the hatchlings to water. She will provide protection to the young for several years if they remain in the area.
Predation by adults on young can account for a mortality rate of up to fifty percent in the first year. These guys -- or more likely girls -- are loosing the yellow camouflage striping of the very young that is helpful for getting through the first dry season