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Alligators stick snouts through ice to survive freezing conditions, swamp park says

10 January 2018, 01:24 | Darnell Patrick

Alligators stick snouts through ice to survive freezing conditions, swamp park says

Alligators stick snouts through ice to survive freezing conditions, swamp park says

The Shallotte River Park Swamp posted a series of videos to YouTube recently to show how the reptiles survive is such cold temperatures.

The video shows several alligator snouts sticking out of the park's frozen pond - a deep freeze caused by a cold front that covered most of the Eastern United States last week.

The alligators seem to instinctively know when the water is about to freeze, says Howard, who is general manager of the park.

The ice hardened around the gators' snouts with their bodies suspended in the water, said Howard.

"No, they will not respond", the park said in a Facebook post.

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With their bodies on ice, alligators go into a state of dormancy called torpor in which their metabolism slows considerably.

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

As for what happens if someone steps on a frozen alligator, experts said it's not likely the animal will react. Turns out they stick their noses through the ice to survive. That's why you don't see indigenous alligators north of North Carolina.

But fear not, animal lovers. The water in the swamp was warmer than the air, explained Howard.

The cold snap may be over in North Carolina but have you ever wondered how alligators breathe when ponds and lakes are frozen over. "And it made sense immediately why they were doing it".



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