You probably remember the insane pictures of Texas during the last winter storm a few days ago.
Well, during that same icy blizzard, alligators in SE Oklahoma went into a deep freeze as frigid, icy temperatures plagued much of the central and eastern United States.
In other words, the gators survived the cold snap by freezing themselves in place with their noses above the ice to breathe.
Now watch several alligators poking their snouts through the ice to breathe at the Red Slough Wildlife Management Area this week:
While the alligators may appear to be dead, scientists say they’re not. It’s a survival technique alligators use when the water starts to freeze.
When the alligators go under, they enter what’s called “brumation,” a hibernation-like state for reptiles. Their bodies almost entirely shut down and all they need to do is breathe. Basically, the ice sticks to their snouts, locking them in place while their bodies dangle below the surface.
During brumation, the reptiles basically shut down their metabolism and they don’t need to eat because they’re not burning a lot of energy. They slow down their heart rate, their digestive system, and they just sit there and wait out the cold weather. It’s a pretty amazing adaptation.
Similar pictures and videos were captured back in 2019 in North Carolina, when gators in a 65-acre park froze with their noses sticking out of the swap. The 18 American alligators thawed out within days and had no apparent injuries as a result of their deep freeze. [Fox5NY]
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