Here's How Gators Survive In Frozen Ponds

USATODAY_AnimalkindPublished: January 12, 2018437 views
Published: January 12, 2018

Have you ever wondered what happens to the water-dwelling creatures when the icy weather hits town? In this viral video from North Carolina’s Shallotte River Swamp Park, we get to see that alligators are not just bullies of the deep; they are actually pretty smart and resilient too.

Many people have wondered whether the cold blooded cousins of ancient dinosaurs can survive in the brutally cold temperatures that have hit most of the Eastern United States last week. According to this footage, they know just how to sustain themselves in the harsh climate - by sticking their snouts out on the surface, while the rest of water freezes around them.

The park’s general manager George Howard, the reptilians, who seem to have fallen victim of Old Man Winter, are actually quite well and alive. Just like us, warm-blooded humans, gators hate temperatures below freezing point, so they go into survival mode. They can sense the drop in temperatures, so they just stick their noses out to the surface so that they can breathe, while their body goes into torpor, a condition where their metabolism slows down considerably. They just don’t sleep.

“In that state, they are still alive, still moving, but very lethargic,” Howard said. If they didn’t stick their noses out like the did here, they would perish in less than a day, which is the amount of time they can stay underwater without coming out for a fresh breath of air.

But fear not, animal lovers, because the temperatures at the park have increased since this instance, freeing the gators from their icy bed. On January 9, Howard came out to say that the reptilians are out and doing their happy dance.

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