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The alligator's wonderful ability to survive freezing temperatures

10 January 2018

Video taken by visitors to the Shallotte River Swamp Park shows alligator snouts poking out of the icy conditions.

If they need to breathe, the alligators can poke their nostrils right above the water. Officials with the park say when the water or air temperature is too low for them to be active, they go into a state of brumation, similar to hibernation. But unlike mammals that hibernate, gators don't go into a deep sleep. "This is where a reptile's metabolism slows down dramatically and will go into a lethargic state". "Often during this time, an alligator will stay at the bottom of a body of water".

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According to Howard, this is completely normal as a survival mechanism for alligators.

"Obviously, that is not optimal, being frozen like that", he said.

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Have you ever wondered how alligators survive in the winter? "I can't imagine it being very good for them if it was much over a week in cold water. Their bodies like the warmth".

The cold-blooded animals essentially allow themselves to be frozen in place, with their noses just above the surface, according to a video posted on Facebook by Shallotte River Swamp Park in Ocean Isle Beach. "And it made sense immediately why they were doing it".

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"Just shows you how smart they are, and how fantastic it is to see them do this exact survival technique, no matter how horrific it looks to us humans", posted Linda McMullan on Facebook.

The alligator's wonderful ability to survive freezing temperatures