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Video shows how alligators cope with freezing temperatures

Video shows how alligators cope with freezing temperatures

Footage captured by the staff of the Shallotte River Swamp Park in Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina shows the somewhat surreal survival technique employed by the cold-blooded reptiles which allows them to be frozen in place in the park's pond.

"This is the time of year when they're just hanging out and waiting for it to get warm", says the person narrating the video.

On Tuesday, the animal sanctuary posted a second update, showing the ice beginning to thaw.

Once warmer weather returns and melts the ice, the alligators will thermoregulate their body temperatures with a spot of sunbathing.

Howard said technically the American alligators' form of hibernation is called brumation.

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The park's rescued alligators previously have been in captivity and can no longer go back in the wild. This includes two alligators that were used as "guard animals" by N.C. drug dealers.

"Obviously, that is not optimal, being frozen like that", he said. In a blog post, experts explained that alligators can live in water temperatures as low as 40 degrees.

Now you know. See ya later, alligator! "I can't imagine it being very good for them if it was much over a week in cold water". "They are trying to conserve energy to maintain body temperature".

A Carolina Coastal Review study suggested the farthest west they might appear would be Richmond County, though none have been recorded living naturally past eastern Scotland County.