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

Winter storms have battered the US this week, and many animals are struggling in the cold.

The cold-blooded alligator, 虽然, is getting through the week with an unusual method of survival.
本星期, an employee at the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation posted 相片 of alligators frozen in water. A grim scene, 也许 — if their snouts weren’t sticking out.
它被称为 “icing,” and it’s how alligators breathe when submerged in freezing temperatures.
    While they may look dead in photos, they’re survivingand in the middle of a fight of their lives.

    What is ‘icing’?

    的 “icingresponse is tied to brumation, which is basically the reptile version of a mammal’s hibernation.
    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页面.
    An alligator 'ices' at Red Slough Wildlife Management Area in Oklahoma.

    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 snoutsThey can still move and are aware of things.

    Alligators aren’t the only animals with unusual survival tactics

    Animals are weathering the freezing temperatures in different ways.
    Take the wood frog: In the winter, they are able to literally freeze solidwithout even a heart beatuntil it’s safe to thaw themselves.
      Red bats, 另一方面, leave their elevated roosts and hit the ground in freezing weather. They cover themselves with leaves like a blanket, comfortably camouflaged from predators.
      Alligators may not be unique in their fight for survival, but you can definitely add this to the list of cool things they do.