Sure, you may think it feels cold out if you live along the East Coast, but at least you can go inside, bundle up, and maybe even sit by a fire with a cup of hot cocoa. If you were an alligator living in North Carolina, the only thing you’d be able to do is stick your nose out of the ice and hope for survival.
A new and rather astonishing video shared on the Shallotte River Swamp Park’s Facebook page shows that alligators are willing to do anything necessary to survive the cold.
“They poke their noses up and are able to breathe and be perfectly fine, so they’re doing this as a mechanism so that if it freezes over, they can still breath,” park manager George Howard explained in the video.
Alligators in Ice!
Survival machines! The American Alligator in ice. #northcarolinaaquarium #newhanovercountyschools #brunswickcountyschools #alligators #oib #oibswamppark #visitnc #visitmyrtlebeach #winter2018 #wilmingtonnc #natgeo Brunswick County, North Carolina
Posted by Shallotte River Swamp Park on Friday, January 5, 2018
And really, this is the only thing the gators can do to stay alive both in captivity and in the wild. As Global News explained, alligators cannot generate their own body heat because they are cold blooded.
However, after poking their snouts through the ice, the alligators are able to put themselves in a state known as “brumation,” which is sort of like hibernation, that lowers their metabolism and body temperature, which helps them stay alive.
“(It’s) just an absolute amazing survival technique and these guys were built tough millions of years ago and they remain tough today,” Howard added.
A post shared by Shallotte River Swamp Park (@oibswamppark) on Jan 7, 2018 at 2:40pm PST
And alligators, The Washington Postexplained, aren’t the only critters to behave this way. Turtles will also seek refuge from the cold by sinking to the bottom of lakes and burying in the warm mud below.
While the alligators may look adorable with their noses sticking out of the ice, it’s crucial that you steer clear of them, especially as the ice melts. Because once it does, the alligators will quickly return to an active state and will likely be looking for a tasty snack.