Breathtaking video shows group of alligators surviving frozen NC river

10 January, 2018, 01:27 | Author: Roderick Gutierrez
  • A North Carolina swamp park has posted a video how alligators survive in a frozen pond. The cold-blooded reptiles cannot generate their own body heat but they can regulate it by changing their environment in a system

"Just hanging out in the water", says narrator George Howard in the video, showing close ups of the snouts sticking through the ice.

"They seem to be doing fairly well", said an expert from the park who was watching the alligators poke their noses out of the frozen river. They can live in water as cold as 40 degrees.

"They can sense temperature changes and will stick their noses out of the water to breathe", Howard said.

Once warmer weather returns and melts the ice, the alligators will thermoregulate their body temperatures with a spot of sunbathing. Alive or not, seeing a motionless alligator's snout popping out of a frozen over pond looks more like a scene out of a B-grade horror film than a natural occurrence.

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

Alligators essentially allow themselves to be frozen in place with their noses just above the surface according to a video posted on Facebook by Shallotte River Swamp Park in Ocean Isle Beach
Breathtaking video shows group of alligators surviving frozen NC river

The park's rescued alligators previously have been in captivity and can no longer go back in the wild.

"(It's) just an absolute fantastic survival technique and these guys were built tough millions of years ago and they remain tough today", Howard said. This includes two alligators that were used as "guard animals" by N.C. drug dealers.

"Just shows you how smart they are, and how incredible it is to see them do this exact survival technique, no matter how horrific it looks to us humans", posted Linda McMullan on Facebook. But that's no problem, according to the park's accompanying blog post. "I can't imagine it being very good for them if it was much over a week in cold water". Most are found in the southeastern corner of the state. That's four counties away from Charlotte.

However, two alligators were run over by vehicles near Charlotte this past summer, and both died.


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