Birds pay a price for alligator protection
Alligators deter other predators from bird nests, but take careless chicks
But Lucas Nell, who did his research with the Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation at the University of Florida, and his colleagues, wanted to understand what was in this relationship for the alligators.
His study revealed that the alligators lay in wait for baby chicks that are often expelled from the nest - because these types of birds often have more chicks than they are capable of raising. The research also found that alligators living in the presence of these birds are healthier, in terms of body condition, than those living in different habitats.