Super smart alligator “survival machines” brave brutal cold snap in North Carolina

Written by on January 10, 2018 in Rare Critters - No comments

Alligators really are the coolest creatures on the planet.

In fact, the Shallotte River Swamp Park calls them “survival machines.”

When the U.S. south was hit by the freak winter storm, it left cold-blooded reptiles trying to stay alive by sticking their snouts through the ice of a frozen North Carolina pond.

“Pretty amazing,” park manager George Howard says on one of the videos. “They all seem to be doing fairly well.”

American alligator survives in frozen pond. Shallotte River Swamp Park/Facebook

The images of the animals lodged in ice are just incredible.

Even in Ocean Isle Beach, the American alligators have become accustomed to winter’s chill.

“They can live in water temperatures as low as 40-degrees F,” the facility explains. “So, what happens when the water or air temperature is too low for them to be active?   Alligators will go into a state of brumation. This is where a reptile’s metabolism slows down dramatically and will go into a lethargic state. Often during this time, an alligator will stay at the bottom of a body of water. An alligator can hold its breath underwater for 1 to 24 hours. If they need to breathe, then they’ll slowly surface and peak their nostrils at the top of the water.”

These are all rescue alligators, which cannot be returned to the wild.

But don’t worry, the thaw is on.

“Alligators be free,” Howard says.

Photos Shallotte River Swamp Park/Facebook

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About the Author

Dawn Walton

Recovering newspaper reporter.

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