Chilly 'gators poke heads above ice to cope with bitter cold - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Chilly 'gators poke heads above ice to cope with bitter cold

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(Credit: Shallotte River Swamp Park/Facebook) (Credit: Shallotte River Swamp Park/Facebook)
OCEAN ISLE BEACH, N.C. -

 (AP) - While North Carolina's recent bitter cold snap deterred plenty of humans from sticking their noses outdoors, a group of alligators chose instead to stick their snouts into the frost in the name of survival.
  
When the alligators at Shallotte River Swamp Park recently found themselves beneath a sheet of ice as temperatures plunged below freezing, they poked their nostrils above the surface so they could get some air.
  
The odd scene was a matter of survival for the gators. When they get cold, they enter a period of dormancy known as brumation. They slow their metabolism and their breathing, and before the surface ices over, they poke their noses out of the water to continue breathing.
  
Park officials say the alligators will be on the prowl once temperatures warm up.

(Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

1/11/2018 3:48:52 PM (GMT -8:00)

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