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Published: Wed, January 10, 2018
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Alligators get a nose up on icy conditions

Alligators get a nose up on icy conditions

The alligators at Shallotte River Swamp Park are out of danger.

'Just hanging out in the water, ' said the narrator of the video.

The videos show the snouts of several gators poking above the surface of water that appears to have frozen over during the recent winter storm that impacted much of the East Coast.

"Just shows you how smart they are, and how awesome it is to see them do this exact survival technique, no matter how horrific it looks to us humans", park owner Linda McMullan wrote on Facebook.

On Tuesday, the animal sanctuary posted a second update, showing the ice beginning to thaw. They're in a state called brumation, which is similar to hibernation.

Alligators essentially allow themselves to be frozen in place with their noses just above the surface according to a video posted on Facebook by Shallotte River Swamp Park in Ocean Isle Beach
Alligators get a nose up on icy conditions

"They seem to be doing fairly well", said an expert from the park who was watching the alligators poke their noses out of the frozen river.

"In that state, they are still alive, still moving, but very lethargic", Howard said, describing torpor.

The alligators lower their body temperature and metabolism to survive the freezing waters. "They are trying to conserve energy to maintain body temperature".

Bone-chilling arctic air has created risky conditions for a large portion of the USA and has resulted in at least 18 deaths since the beginning of the new year, including four in North Carolina traffic accidents and three in Texas.

When the temperature gets warm again and the ice melts, the alligators will then start thermoregulating their body temperatures.

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