Alligators Can Freeze and Still Breathe

People who live in the parts of the US where alligators also live are not used to frozen ponds. When the temperature in Beaumont, Texas, sank to 18°F last week, they saw alligators encased in ice. And they were still breathing. Notice this alligator with its snout sticking out of the frozen pond.


The amarican alliagtor is absolutely magnificent!! @Gator Country TX #americanalligator #gatorcountrybmt

♬ original sound - eddie h

Scientists tell us this is a state called brumation, which is the cold-blooded version of hibernation. When reptiles encounter cold weather, they can slow their metabolic rate to a crawl. An alligator may slow its heart rate to only three beats a minute. The alligator in the video instinctively knew he would be frozen in ice, and stuck his snout out into the air so he could breathe. Unlike hibernation, this state only lasts as long as the weather does, and alligators will go about their business when the ice thaws. Brumating alligators have also been observed in North Carolina during the recent deep freeze. -via Damn Interesting 

(Top image credit: David Arbour/Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation)

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