Alligators stick snouts through ice to survive freezing conditions, swamp park says

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The Shallotte River Swamp Park shared videos on Facebook of their alligators with their noses stuck high in the air through cracks in the ice, and they appeared not to be moving. "You can see it melting around the nostrils there", George Howard says in the video, showing close ups of the alligators' snouts sticking through the ice.

That's why, when a North Carolina park featuring gators froze over in recent days, they can be seen seemingly stuck in the ice. "It is not abnormal for them [the alligators] to do this because they know they have to breathe". They'll stick their nose above the surface at just the right moment and allow the water to freeze around it. Once it becomes warm and the ice melts, the creatures will thermoregulate their body temperatures to their regular state. Alive or not, seeing a motionless alligator's snout popping out of a frozen over pond looks more like a scene out of a B-grade horror film than a natural occurrence. Alligators will go into a state of brumation.

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Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published broadcast rewritten or redistributed

The 65-acre park and sanctuary has a dozen alligators, all of them "rescues" that were previously kept in captivity.

"(It's) just an absolute awesome survival technique and these guys were built tough millions of years ago and they remain tough today", Howard said. "I can't imagine it being very good for them if it was much over a week in cold water". Experts said they believed the alligators may have been pets released by their former owners.

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