How Alligators Survive Freezing Temperatures




A video posted by a North Carolina swamp shows how alligators survive in a frozen pond.

Due to the inability to generate their own body heat, cold blooded animals can regulate their own body temperatures by changing their environment in a system called brumation. This process lowers their body temperature and metabolism in order to survive.

According to a video posted on the Facebook page of Shallotte River Swamp Park in Ocean Isle Beach, alligators allow themselves to be frozen in place with just their noses above the frozen surface.

While it may be hard to fathom how these animals survive the icy conditions, but animal experts say the animals are doing okay, in fact, alligators instinctively know when the pond is about to freeze over. They’ll stick their nose above the surface at just the right moment and allow the water to freeze around it.

In severe cases, they get frozen into the surface of the pond for days at a time. When it starts to get warm again and the ice starts melting, alligators will start thermoregulating their body temperature.

A common question asked is what happens if something were to hit the alligator while frozen, but they will not respond, as they conserving energy to maintain body temperature.

After devastated populations in the early 20th century, alligators have made in comeback in North Carolina, mostly found within the southeastern corner of the state.