How Alligators Survive in a Frozen Pond

NC's frozen alligators thawed out

Sure, you may think it feels cold out if you live along the East Coast, but at least you can go inside, bundle up, and maybe even sit by a fire with a cup of hot cocoa.

Residents in North Carolina are getting a front row seat to alligators on ice.

Alligators in North Carolina have been caught poking their heads through the ice-covered swamps of their habitat in the Shallotte River Swamp Park in Ocean Isle Beach, N.C.

"They seem to be doing fairly well", said an expert from the park who was watching the alligators poke their noses out of the frozen river.

The park keeps 12 rescued gators that can not be returned to the wild after being kept in captivity. They slow their metabolism and their breathing, and before the surface ices over they poke their noses out of the water to continue breathing. "Often during this time, an alligator will stay at the bottom of a body of water".

Frozen alligators went viral this week thanks to a video, "alligators on ice", that showed how the reptiles survived the recent cold snap by allowing themselves to be frozen in place in a pond, with their snouts in the air, The Charlotte Observer noted. Because once it does, the alligators will quickly return to an active state and will likely be looking for a tasty snack.

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