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Forbidden Frozen Alligator Popsicles Seen In North Carolina And Texas – But Don't Lick Them

Alligators entire a state known as brumation to survive the colder weather.

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Eleanor Higgs

author

Eleanor Higgs

Digital Content Creator

Eleanor is a content creator and social media assistant with an undergraduate degree in zoology and a master’s degree in wildlife documentary production.

Digital Content Creator

Edited by Holly Large
Holly Large - Editorial Assistant

Holly Large

Jr Copy Editor & Staff Writer

Holly is a graduate medical biochemist with an enthusiasm for making science interesting, fun and accessible.

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Frozen alligator with just the front teeth and nose poking out a of frozen pond.

Bet you didn't have frozen alligators on your 2024 bingo card. 

Image credit: IrinaK/Shutterstock.com

Animals have a whole range of means to survive the cold, from thick fur and warm dens to simply sleeping through the cold winter months. Alligators might not be the first creatures that come to mind when thinking about survival tactics for cold weather, but videos reveal that freezing right along with the lake is the best way for them to get through a cold snap.

In Texas and North Carolina, videos are emerging on social media of “gatorcicles”. Found in frozen bodies of water, these are alligators that have let the water freeze solidly around them. Only their noses and mouths poke out of the surface of the ice, allowing the animals to breathe. 

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One video shared by gatorcountytx on TikTok showed exactly that. 

According to the South Carolina Aquarium, this is a process called brumation, a period of dormancy where the heart rate and other processes within the body slow down in response to cold weather. In alligators and other reptiles, it consists of a decreased body temperature, lethargy and decreased metabolism. 

As these animals are cold-blooded and require warmth from the sun for their metabolism, if the temperatures get too cold, they can die. However, this period of brumation typically lasts 4-5 months in response to cold weather. It's similar to hibernation as the animals go without eating, but it is distinct in that they will continue to drink and are not in quite as deep of a sleep state.

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The TikTok account 2guysandsomeland also shared a video of "swamp puppies" frozen in their habitat and it gives a good idea of how out of it these alligators are – the person in the video is able to "boop the snoot", although that's definitely not recommended. And neither is licking them, even if they have been compared to popsicles.

Elsewhere in the US, more frozen animals are causing chaos, as it's "dodge the falling iguana" time again in Florida. 


ARTICLE POSTED IN

natureNaturenatureanimals
  • tag
  • animals,

  • alligators,

  • reptiles,

  • winter,

  • brumination

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