The alligator's awesome ability to survive freezing temperatures

The alligator's awesome ability to survive freezing temperatures

George Howard works at the Shallotte River Swamp Park in Wilmington, North Carolina.

Alligators in North Carolina are dealing with the freezing temperatures by sticking their noses up through the ice to breathe.

The alligators at Shallotte River Swamp Park are out of danger. Alligators, he explained, don't like subfreezing temperatures any more than warmblooded humans, and when faced with such extremes they go into survival mode. They'll stick their nose above the surface at just the right moment and allow the water to freeze around it.

The freakish practice is apparently called brumation, a form of hibernation that allows alligators to regulate their body temperatures no matter the weather conditions, according to a report by the Bradenton Herald. Their metabolism slows down in the cold conditions and they go into a lethargic state.

All of the alligators in the park have been rescued from captivity and therefore can not go back to the wild.

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"(It's) just an absolute unbelievable survival technique and these guys were built tough millions of years ago and they remain tough today", Howard said.

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

Now you know. See ya later, alligator!

As for what happens if someone steps on a frozen alligator, experts said it's not likely the animal will react. Most are found in the southeastern corner of the state.

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