In a rarely seen occurrence, video released on Monday showed alligators trying to stay alive in a frozen North Carolina pond by sticking their snouts through the ice.
Footage shared the the Shallotte River Swamp Park’s Facebook page showed a handful of the cold-blooded reptiles breathing through the gaps created by their snouts in a pond frozen by a brutal cold spell that gripped the U.S. last week.
“They poke their noses up and are able to breathe and be perfectly fine, so they’re doing this as a mechanism so that if it freezes over, they can still breath,” park manager George Howard said.
The reptiles cannot generate their own body heat. Experts say once the alligators are able to breathe through the ice, they fall into a state of hibernation known as brumation by lowering their body temperatures and metabolism. Once it becomes warm and the ice melts, the creatures will thermoregulate their body temperatures to their regular state.
“(It’s) just an absolute amazing survival technique and these guys were built tough millions of years ago and they remain tough today,” Howard said.
WATCH: Zoo shows off amazing way alligators survive in freezing temperatures
Bone-chilling arctic air created dangerous conditions for a large portion of the U.S. and resulted in at least 18 deaths since the beginning of the new year, including four in North Carolina traffic accidents and three in Texas.
— With a file from Global News
© 2018 Reuters