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New Video Shows How Alligators Survive in Frozen Waters And It's Fascinating

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I’m a real nature freak, but the reptile exhibit at the zoo isn’t the first stop I make when I’m visiting. Let’s face it, alligators can be scary with their snapping jaws and powerful tails.

But that doesn’t mean that these tough creatures aren’t amazing in their own way. The people at Shallotte River Swamp Park in Ocean Isle Beach agree.

They recently shared a new video explaining one of the biggest mysteries surrounding these water dwellers.

Finally, the question of how an alligator survives under water in frozen conditions is answered.



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Alligators are cold-blooded and have to regulate their body temperature by changing environments.

In the warmer months, all that is required is a quick trip to the water’s surface and a long lounge on a sunny shore.

But when the water temperatures dip to forty degrees or below, our reptilian friends have to switch things up. In order to survive in frozen conditions, they have to slow everything down.

Because alligators have to become inactive in these harsher conditions, their bodies go into a state referred to as “brumation.”

“This is where a reptile’s metabolism slows down dramatically and will go into a lethargic state,” experts wrote on the Shallotte River Swamp Park blog.

“Often during this time, an alligator will stay at the bottom of a body of water.”

But an alligator still needs to breathe. In this incredible video, the park showed how the resting alligators poke their noses out of the water for the air that they need.



“They seem to be doing fairly well,” said one expert. But there’s more to the story than nostrils poking out of the water.

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Many times, when the temperatures dip below freezing, an alligator’s nose can become frozen to the surface. Ouch! The video showed this phenomena close up.

They don’t seem to mind their icy entrapment that can last up to several days. Once the temperatures rise, they can usually free themselves and go back to the bottom of the pond.

Not to worry. Alligators can hold their breath for up to 24 hours, especially in the lethargic state.

Thank you Shallotte River Swamp Park for the amazing video footage. Next time you take a trip to the zoo, remember to visit the reptiles and tell them how incredible they are!

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