Anatomy is amazing, especially when you see the amazing zen survival techniques that Alligators displayed at a sanctuary park in North Carolina, where they survived this week’s cold snap, by keeping their noses above the water level, as the swamp froze their bodies into place
In anticipation of the freeze ahead, the alligators knew to poke their noses out of the water, which allowed them to continue breathing even after the swamp turned to ice.
“The water they are in does tend to freeze on consecutive sub-freezing nights. This does not happen often,” said George Howard, the park’s general manager. “They do this as a survival technique — a coping mechanism to allow them to breathe in the event the water freezes over.”
“They basically shut down their metabolism. They don’t need to eat because they’re not burning a lot of energy,” said professor of biology , Adam E. Rosenblatt. “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.”
When the alligators go under, they enter “brumation”, which is a type of hibernation for coldblooded animals that almost entirely shuts down their bodies. All that they have to do is breathe.
The Swamp Park manager George Howard said that 18 American alligators froze Monday night. They remained frozen all day Tuesday.
This isn’t the first time the alligators resorted to this survival technique.
They did the same thing in January of last year, and thawed out a few days later with no apparent injuries.
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