COOL VIDEO! Alligators poke their noses through ice to survive the cold

COOL VIDEO! Alligators poke their noses through ice to survive the cold

Kerry Wise
January 10, 2018

The video has been uploaded by Shallotte River Swamp Park on its Facebook page, which is becoming viral.

Howard first noticed the gators' snouts sticking out of the frozen pond in the 3,000 square foot enclosure when he was checking the enclosure after last Wednesday's snow storm.

During the cold months of winter, when their environment becomes a frost prison, the gators employ a rather unusual tactic - they stick their noses out of the water, open their mouths and wait for the water to freeze around them. But unlike mammals that hibernate, gators don't go into a deep sleep. "It just so happened southeastern North Carolina recently had a freeze like none other, so the ice literally froze right around their snouts".

"In that state, they are still alive, still moving, but very lethargic", Howard said, describing torpor.

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During that time, the alligators will stay at the bottom of the body of water. He just wants to make them more comfortable while they wait out the cold.

North Carolina is the furthest north the alligator species would travel.

As the narrator in the video says, "Look at those teeth". The water in the swamp was warmer than the air, explained Howard. "And it made sense immediately why they were doing it".

The American alligator can survive water temperatures of negative 40 degrees and can hold their breath for one to 24 hours, the park said in a blog post. Some wondered if the alligators were employing a survival mechanism.