Alligators Stick Their Noses Out Above Frozen Water During Hibernation

Alligators can survive the cold, too.

Alligators and their cousins have been around for nearly 200 million years and recent footage of their amazing survival skills suggests they may be on Earth for 200 million more.

As temperatures plunged across the country late last week, gators in the upper reaches of their range faced the question of what to do when floating is your forte but your swampy digs are about to freeze.

The folks at the Shallotte River Swamp Park in Ocean Isle Beach, N.C., shared the answer in footage posted last week of an alligator poking just its snout above the ice, ensuring it could breathe until the thaw.

According to a park blog post, the gators, like other cold-blooded reptiles, go into a lethargic state similar to hibernation called brumation when the mercury dips. 

Park manager George Howard said the gators seem to instinctively know when the water is about to freeze, at which point they stick their snouts above the water and wait patiently for the thaw.