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Old 12-01-18, 07:46   #1
Tyrannosaurus
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Default Alligators seen frozen in North Carolina pond with snouts above water to survive reco

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018...water-survive/

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Those visiting frozen swamps in North Carolina a few days ago would have seen a very strange sight - alligator snouts poking out of the icy ponds, with their bodies frozen below.

Although the creatures were as still as if they were dead, experts have assured the public that this is simply how alligators survive in unexpectedly cold weather.

A "bomb cyclone" hit the East Coast of the US last week, dumping snow as far south as Florida, and causing usually relatively warm and humid swamps to face icy temperatures.

Many marveled at the sight of alligators facing the ice at North Carolina┬’s Shallotte River Swamp Park.

The park described the conditions as a "freeze like no other" and said it allowed them to show their followers how adaptable the alligators were to the unusually cold climate.

While, when the weather permits it, alligators can usually be seen sunning themselves, basking in light filtering through the trees and the sun beating on their backs, the animals can survive in water as cold as 4 degrees celcius, and go into a hibernation-like state in order to keep their bodies warm and conserve energy.

The park described how the alligators survive the cold, writing "Alligators will go into a state of brumation. This is where a reptile┬’s metabolism slows down dramatically and will go into a lethargic state.

" Often during this time, an alligator will stay at the bottom of a body of water. An alligator can hold its breath underwater for 1 to 24 hours. If they need to breathe, then they┬’ll slowly surface and peak their nostrils at the top of the water. "

The animals, while poking their nostrils upwards, keep their stationary bodies suspended in the water.

When it gets particularly cold, alligators burrow deep in mud holes in the banks of the water for extra warmth.

However, they can't survive like this indefinitely, with park officials noting the alligators would probably become extremely ill or perish if the weather went on for more than a week.

Luckily for the animals, they thawed a few days after the pond froze over and the air and water temperature went above freezing.
I came across a few other pages which posted this story, with headlines that read something like "This is how you outlive dinosaurs." Back in my day, dinosaurs ranged from Alaska to southern Australia (which was attached to Antarctica and closer to the south pole), and Antarctica itself. Even during the Cretaceous, when there were no ice caps, this was still cold enough to see snow and freeze lakes. Modern crocodiles can't tolerate these sorts of environments today, at least not long term. But as this occurrence shows, these guys are pretty damn impressive in their own right. The Crocodilia hold more secrets still.
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Old 12-01-18, 15:46   #2
HarleyCroft
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Very cool

I like to think of alligators as not out-living the dinosaurs, but becoming modern dinosaurs Smart animals!
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