Alligators poke noses out from under ice to survive cold


"It is not abnormal for them [the alligators] to do this because they know they have to breathe". "(It's) just an absolute awesome survival technique and these guys were built tough millions of years ago and they remain tough today".

"Just hanging out in the water", said the narrator in one of the videos.

In the video, alligators can be seen literally frozen inside a pond.

When the water or air temperature falls too low for them to be active, Howard says alligators go into a hibernation-type state called brumation. "This is where a reptile's metabolism slows down dramatically and will go into a lethargic state".

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However, a layer of ice had formed on top of the swamp in the Shallotte River Swamp Park in Ocean Isle Beach last Friday, and stayed solid throughout the weekend.

According to George Howard, the general manager at Shallotte River Swamp Park, the gators, including the 12 rescued at the park, stick their noses up through the ice so they're able to breathe, then they hibernate. "An alligator can hold its breath underwater for 1 to 24 hours".

Some users also questioned as to what would happen if someone steps on a frozen alligator. On this, the park has said in reference to experts that crocodiles get the feel of the changes in the weather. According to park officials, it's not out of the ordinary - they're just attempting to acclimating to the freezing conditions. "They are trying to conserve energy to maintain body temperature".