Bizarre Sight as Gators Poke Snouts Through Ice

They needed to get some air before entering brumation
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 12, 2018 5:34 PM CST
Chilly Gators Poke Heads Above Ice to Cope With Cold
This Saturday, Jan. 6, 2018, photo provided by George Howard shows alligators suspended in frozen water at the Shallotte River Swamp Park in Ocean Isle, N.C.   (George Howard/Shallotte River Swamp Park via AP)

Although North Carolina's recent bitter cold snap deterred plenty of humans from sticking their noses outdoors, a group of alligators stuck their snouts into the frost and hunkered down in the name of survival. The AP reports when the alligators at Shallotte River Swamp Park recently found themselves beneath a sheet of ice as temperatures plunged below freezing, they poked their nostrils above the surface so they could get some air.

The odd scene was a matter of survival for the gators. When they get cold, they enter a period of dormancy known as brumation. They slow their metabolism and their breathing, and before the surface ices over they poke their noses out of the water to continue breathing. Park officials say the alligators will be on the prowl once temperatures warm up.

(More alligator stories.)

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