UNITED STATES NEWS

A blast of cold lets gators show off a special skill to survive icy weather

Jan 23, 2024, 1:10 PM | Updated: 7:48 pm

The recent blast of cold weather has given alligators a chance to show off their way of coping with freezing temperatures.

The Swamp Park Outdoor Adventure Center in Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina, posted eerie videos on social media on Sunday showing alligators suspended in frozen ponds with just the tips of their snouts peeking above the ice.

In one video, Assistant Manager Scott Perry got up close with one of the “swamp puppies” in their frozen state, reaching out to “boop” one motionless alligator’s nose, while warning viewers, “Don’t do this at home.”

“Never in my life did I think I’d do that,” Perry said.

The park has 12 alligators that state wildlife officials have determined can’t return to the wild, often because they have been fed by humans, General Manager George Howard said by telephone on Tuesday. He was excited to see the phenomenon over the weekend, saying it had been a few years since it last happened at the park.

The cold-blooded animals can’t regulate their own temperature, so when temperatures drop they go into a state called brumation to survive, Howard said. The alligators can protect themselves by sticking their noses up out of the water, so they can keep breathing while the water freezes around them, he said.

“Eyes closed and just the nostrils sticking up out of the water, just enough to breathe,” Howard said in one video showing an alligator he estimated was 9 to 10 feet (2.74 to 3.05 meters) long. “The entire body is suspended under the water. Pretty fantastic.”

But it didn’t last long. By Tuesday, temperatures had risen and Howard said the alligators had returned to normal.

Gator Country in Beaumont, Texas, posted a video last week featuring an alligator there with its snout poked out of the ice.

“Look right down here. You can see the entire body of the alligator, but most importantly, look at his snout. He has pushed his snout up through so he can get oxygen and he can breathe,” owner Gary Saurage said. “Folks, that’s amazing! That’s how alligators survive in the ice.”

United States News

FILE - Defendant Kevin Monahan, left, listens to opening statements in his murder trial, Jan. 11, 2...

Associated Press

Man to be sentenced for murdering a woman who was mistakenly driven up his rural New York driveway

FORT EDWARD, N.Y. (AP) — A man who fatally shot a 20-year-old woman in an SUV that was mistakenly driven up his rural driveway in upstate New York is scheduled to be sentenced Friday. Kevin Monahan, 66, was convicted of second-degree murder in the death last April of Kaylin Gillis. Gillis was riding in a […]

5 hours ago

David and Stephanie Joiner pose by part of an artwork, called Greenwood Pond: Double Site, Sunday, ...

Associated Press

Artists outraged by removal of groundbreaking work along Des Moines pond

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A Des Moines arts organization is preparing to rip out a groundbreaking artwork that lines a pond in a historic city park, surprising the New York artist who created the work decades ago and leading to an outpouring of opposition by other artists and local residents. The decision to remove […]

5 hours ago

Associated Press

Parts of the Sierra Nevada likely to get 10 feet of snow from powerful storm by weekend

RENO, Nev. (AP) — The most powerful Pacific storm of the season is forecast to bring up to 10 feet (3 meters) of snow into the Sierra Nevada by the weekend, forcing residents to take shelter and prompting at least one Lake Tahoe ski resort to close Friday. The storm began barreling into the region […]

5 hours ago

FILE - Paramedic Peter Cichuniec attends his arraignment at the Adams County Justice Center in Brig...

Associated Press

Paramedic convictions in Elijah McClain’s death spur changes for patients in police custody

DENVER (AP) — Medical responders across the U.S. are rethinking how they treat people in police custody after a jury last December handed down a rare decision: It convicted two Colorado paramedics for their roles in the 2019 death of Elijah McClain following an overdose of a powerful sedative. As one of the paramedics faces […]

5 hours ago

Associated Press

Some left helpless to watch as largest wildfire in Texas history devastates their town

STINNETT, Texas (AP) — As the largest wildfire in Texas history engulfed his town, Danny Phillips was left helpless. “We had to watch from a few miles away as our neighborhood burned,” he said, his voice trembling with emotion. In his hard-hit town of Stinnett, population roughly 1,600, families like his who evacuated from the […]

5 hours ago

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis testifies during a hearing on the Georgia election inte...

Associated Press

With salacious testimony finished, legal arguments to begin over Fani Willis’ future in Trump case

ATLANTA (AP) — After several days of extraordinary testimony, the judge in the Georgia election interference case against former President Donald Trump is set to hear arguments Friday over whether Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis should be removed from the prosecution over a romantic relationship. Lawyers for Trump and other defendants in the election […]

6 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.

...

DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

...

Sanderson Ford

The best ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day and give back to the community

Veterans Day is fast approaching and there's no better way to support our veterans than to donate to the Military Assistance Mission.

A blast of cold lets gators show off a special skill to survive icy weather