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The bizarre and totally scientific way that alligators breathe in icy water

February 19, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 62.8%. 1 min read.

It's called "icing," and it's how alligators breathe when submerged in freezing temperatures.

The cold-blooded alligator, though, is getting through the week with an unusual method of survival.

This week, an employee at the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation posted photos of alligators frozen in water.

It's called "icing," and it's how alligators breathe when submerged in freezing temperatures.

By lowering their metabolic rates, becoming lethargic and keeping their snouts above water, alligators are able to survive brief periods of freezing weather.

As cold-blooded reptiles, alligators rely on their external environments for temperature regulation, which means cold weather is not conducive to their survival.

David Arbour, with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, posted photos of alligators icing to his Facebook page.

"The gators won't freeze if the water stays liquid," he said in a comment.

"Their snouts are just cartilage so freezing doesn't hurt their snouts . . .

Alligators aren't the only animals with unusual survival tactics

Animals are weathering the freezing temperatures in different ways.

Red bats, on the other hand, leave their elevated roosts and hit the ground in freezing weather.

Alligators may not be unique in their fight for survival, but you can definitely add this to the list of cool things they do.

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