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24 Jan, 2019 17:15

Alligators freeze in N Carolina swamp, only leaving nostrils above ice (VIDEOS)

Alligators freeze in N Carolina swamp, only leaving nostrils above ice (VIDEOS)

Alligators in North Carolina, clearly no fans of winter weather, have decided to ride out the season by freezing themselves in swamps with just the tips of their snouts poking out of the ice.

Arresting images of gator nostrils and teeth poking out above the frozen waters were snapped by George Howard, manager of the Swamp Park in Ocean Isle Beach.

Temperatures dropped to minus 3 Fahrenheit (-20 Celsius) overnight on January 21 when the alligators froze. The strange move is “a survival technique, that they have acquired over a long time,” the park said on Facebook.

The cold-blooded creatures can slow their metabolism dramatically to ‘brumate’ – essentially a form of hibernation to cope with extremely cold conditions.

The Swamp Park reptiles first debuted the bizarre behavior last winter when Howard spotted them immobile in the icy swamp, with nothing but the merest tip of their muzzles above the surface.

Brumation isn’t quite the same experience for gators as hibernation is for warm-blooded mammals, though. Instead of falling asleep, reptiles become extremely lethargic and inactive, according to the South Carolina Aquarium, and stop eating. They can continue to drink, and will kick back into gear to move around for periods too.

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