Gators in ice: Eighteen American alligators freeze in place, poking their noses through the ice to survive arctic blast in North Carolina

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Alligators in one eastern North Carolina swamp have proven it was no fluke last winter, when they survived a cold snap by freezing themselves in place with their noses above the ice.

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18 American alligators froze Monday night and stayed frozen all day Tuesday with their nose above the ice in North Carolina. Picture by The Swamp Park

Yes, the same weird phenomenon happened again Monday at The Swamp Park, only this time more – and bigger – alligators joined in, says park manager George Howard, who posted a video Tuesday:

The 18 American alligators froze Monday night and stayed frozen all day Tuesday. He says the alligators seem to sense when the water is at its freezing point and poke their noses into the air “at just the right moment.

All our alligators in ice here,” Howard says in the video. “Eighteen American alligators are thinking ahead, as they poke their noses through the ice.

This is a normal survival technique called “brumation,” which is similar to hibernation. They prefer staying in the water, because it is warmer in it. The outside ambient temperatures are lower. The water only froze a couple inches. They are better protected in the water.

alligators freeze themselves to survive cold snap, alligator nose above ice survival technique, alligator north carolina ice
Alligators in one North Carolina swamp have proven it was no fluke last winter, when they survived a cold snap by freezing themselves in place with their noses above the ice. via Facebook video

Alligators in the 65-acre park and sanctuary in Ocean Isle Beach weathered freezing temperatures for the first time this way last January. Those alligators thawed out days later with no apparent injuries.

Other cold blood animals like iguanas fall from trees, like dead, when the temperatures start decreasing and resurrect when it’s warming up.

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