Hybernating Alligators Have to Poke Through Carolina Ice to Breath

Kristopher Drake
January 10, 2018

It seems like every day we come across something we didn't know was a thing. but in our defense, when's the last time you saw an alligator in a frozen pond? They respond by sticking their nose above the surface at just the right moment, allowing the water to freeze around them.

The park later posted an update video on January 9 to show the alligators swimming around after the ice had thawed.

That's why, when a North Carolina park featuring gators froze over in recent days, they can be seen seemingly stuck in the ice. Once it becomes warm and the ice melts, the creatures will thermoregulate their body temperatures to their regular state. They're in a state called brumation, which is similar to hibernation. "(It's) just an absolute fantastic survival technique and these guys were built tough millions of years ago and they remain tough today".

The park has 12 gators rescued from captivity now hibernating in the ice.


"It's a survival mechanism", George Howard, the general manager of the park, told local reporters on Tuesday, "They'll go wherever it is warmest".

As for what happens if someone steps on a frozen alligator, experts said it's not likely the animal will react.

A Carolina Coastal Review study suggested the farthest west they might appear would be Richmond County, though none have been recorded living naturally past eastern Scotland County.

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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