Wow! First it snowed in Florida, then in the Sahara Desert. So I think it’s officially safe to say it’s cold out there Even the alligators at the Shallotte River Swamp Park in Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina are being forced to cope with the cold temperatures.
Videos of the alligators seemingly “frozen” were posted to the park’s Facebook account. The videos show the alligators poking their noses out of water where the top layer is frozen over. And in case you were wondering, this is how alligators survive the winter:
As is explained in the park’s video, they leave their noses out of the water so that they can still breath while in this vegetative state. Pretty incredible, huh?
Here’s an even closer look:
According to the Loyola Center For Environmental Communication, this process is called brumation, and is similar to short-term hibernation, in a way. “[Alligators] react to a cold environment by slowing their metabolic activity, but certainly not to the deep torpor of true hibernation.”
Still, some folks online were concerned about the well-being of the seemingly frozen alligators:
Will they survive?
— jane ferris (@Iluvinspireu) January 9, 2018
This makes me so sad.
— Fred and Sophie's Mom🐕🌍🌎🌏 (@kmahoney534) January 9, 2018
Which is why, after the two videos above, the park posted a final update to prove that the alligators were doing just fine:
Alligators aren’t the only animals feeling the cold. Iguanas were found freezing in Florida and sharks were spotted frozen on the shoreline in Cape Cod. Luckily, there’s a good chance the iguanas will be able to thaw out and survive. “Don’t assume that they’re dead,” Kristen Sommers, who oversees the nonnative fish and wildlife program for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, told CBS News. “It’s too cold for them to move,” she said. They should thaw out once the temperatures rise, and they’re best if left alone in the meantime.
Unfortunately, the sharks won’t be so lucky. They were found on the shore “likely stranded due to cold shock,” according to the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy.
The good news is that the worst of the cold front seems to have passed, and most of the animals affected will be just fine. Here’s to hoping it stays warmer for the animals (and really, for everyone’s sake) while winter lasts.