Have you ever wondered how alligators survive in the winter cold? We think about alligators living in warm, swampy waters, not in ice covered ponds.
But after a bomb cyclone hit the East Coast of the United States recently, the water at one alligator habitat froze over. As result, the alligators revealed the unusual technique they use for staying alive.
North Carolina’s Shallotte River Swamp Park filmed the alligators in their habitat. The animals can be seen with just their noses protruding from the ice. They appear completely static, literally frozen in place.
The park’s general manager, George Howard, captured the alligators on video, describing the alligators as “survival machines.”
What the alligators are doing is called “bruminating”, a form of hibernation. They essentially conserve their energy, but allow themselves to breath, positioning their bodies like snorkels. Once the ice melts, they go back to “normal”.
Howard explains that North Carolina is the most northern habitat that the American alligator will venture. The 12 alligators at their park are rescues and were previously in captivity. The alligators can no longer go back into the wild, so their park takes them in.
Brumination slows down an alligator’s metabolism, helping them conserve energy. Fortunately, the alligators weren’t stuck under ice for too long. Shortly after, the ice thawed and the alligators were back to swimming around.
Share this fascinating survival technique with your family and friends.