Wild Alligators Become “Frozen Solid” To Survive a Cold Snap in Texas and North Carolina

Alligator Swimming In Water

Photo: JDunbarPhoto/Depositphotos

Have you ever wondered how certain animals like alligators manage to survive through harsh weather? Well, as a wave of frigid weather hit North Carolina and Texas, the alligators living in those states cleverly survived the cold by turning into living, breathing ice cubes in a process known as brumation. The animals do this by allowing pond water to freeze around them. Once submerged, the alligator keeps only its snout above the water's surface, enabling it to breathe until the pond thaws out again.

When ice crystals begin to form over the alligator's body, their metabolism and heart slow down (sometimes to three beats per minute), and their bodies slowly become suspended in the icy water. This state of dormancy is the reptile equivalent of hibernation. But unlike mammals, alligators do not actually fall asleep during this period and still have brief periods of activity so that they can drink.

Rescuers have found several of these semiaquatic animals frozen at an alligator sanctuary near Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina. Another alligator was found suspended in a freezing pond at the Gator Country Rescue Center in Beaumont, Texas. If you come across any frozen gators, there's no need to be alarmed—just remember to exercise caution around wild animals and refrain from trying to wake them up.

In order to get through cold temperatures, alligators enter a hibernation-like state called brumation and allow themselves to become frozen in ponds.

Alligator Swimming In Water

Photo: TallyPic/Depositphotos

Watch these alligators breathe while in a frozen pond.

h/t: [Live Science]

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Sarah Currier

Sarah Currier is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met. Based in central Iowa, she is currently enrolled at Iowa State University and is working toward a BA in Journalism and Mass Communication with a minor in English. She loves all things creative, and when she’s not writing, you can find her immersed in the worlds of television, film, and literature.
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