American Alligators are some of the most intriguing reptiles in North America. The magnificent creatures are ancient, living fossils and descendants of the animals that used to roam the Earth. When you think about how unlike most other creatures that they are, it’s no wonder that they draw in crowds to see them in their natural habitat. They are full of mystery and intrigue, and now, they’ve just become even more captivating!
Shallotte River Swamp Park in Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina, is home to rescued alligators and provides people with all sorts of wonderful adventures! When the mega freeze crept up the East coast in January of 2017, fans of the park worried about how the alligators would survive the cold! That’s why George Howard, one of the employees at the park, recorded the wonderful video of the alligators for all to see.
The alligators apparently can seem to sense when the water is about to freeze, and their instincts kick into overdrive! They manage to find the perfect resting position with the top of their muzzle sticking out of the water, leaving their nostrils and front teeth clear from the freezing water. When the ice forms, it traps the alligator in place but leaves their nostrils completely clear.
Since the alligators are cold-blooded, they are unable to warm themselves without external heat. That’s why when the ice settles, they enter a state called brumation, which is basically a reptile version of hibernation! Their body slows down and they are able to survive in that position until the ice melts again, freeing them!
The employees at the alligator park say the alligators won’t even move if you touch their noses while they’re frozen. They don’t want to waste the energy that they desperately need to keep warm or risk losing their hole in the ice if they don’t have to. Of course, they don’t recommend you try to get close to them because if the ice is too thin or water is just a bit too warm,
you might just get more than you bargained for.
Seeing the alligators in this wonderous situation has surprised many people around the world who had no idea that alligators could survive in frozen waters! The video definitely shocked me, and it’s really no surprise to me that it is going viral because it’s so amazing! I certainly never would have guessed that they could survive in the frozen temperatures this way.