Saturday, January 13, 2018

"These alligators spent days trapped in swamp ice — and survived"

WaPo:

When alligators get cold, they brumate, or enter a period of dormancy similar to hibernation. They slow down their metabolism and their breathing and go into a semi-vegetative state. Right before the surface freezes, they stick their snouts out of the water so they can continue breathing.

George Howard, the park’s general manager, was one of the first to notice how the 10 alligators were handling the icy water.

At first, he thought the water had too many cypress knees — woody projections from tree roots that are a common sight in swamps.

Then he saw teeth.

...

Upon first glance, Howard told The Washington Post, most people passing by thought they were looking at a lake full of frozen alligators, killed by the cold.