The cold weather currently experienced across North America has brought a few surprises recently – from being too cold for even penguins to Niagara Falls freezing over. The weirdest so far though has to be that of frozen lizards raining down from trees in Florida, and shortly thereafter thawing out and returning to life.
Temperatures in Florida dipped to an extremely chilly 5°C (40°F) yesterday. Whilst humans were warned to wrap up warm, iguanas were not sent the memo. As a result, many people in Florida were greeted by the sight of frozen iguanas scattered on the ground when they woke up on Thursday morning.
They look pretty dead, huh? Well they probably aren't, and there's a good chance that if you leave them out in the Sun they'll thaw out and recover all by themselves. One Florida resident, Kay Pavkovich, posted a video of her moving the lizard to a nice warm bit of Sun. Very quickly, the iguana sprang back to life, although experts are not advocating people moving the reptiles.
The iguanas seem to have been momentarily immobilized. All reptiles are cold-blooded, so when the temperature drops they begin to slow down. However, if their temperature drops below 5°C (40°F), their blood stops moving around their body properly, and they become immobile, Kristen Sommers of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission told the Washington Post.
This immobile state is reversible. When they're left out in the Sun their blood starts to move again due to the warmth, and they return to normal iguana activities. However, Sommers advised that if you come across a frozen lizard, you should leave them where they are. When they come around, they may be pretty confused and frightened by the experience.
“Like any wild animal, it will try to defend itself,” she said.
The cold weather isn't only affecting iguanas. The same thing is happening to sea turtles in Texas.
Sharks are not escaping the cold either. Several sharks have been found frozen solid last week, as temperatures really started to drop.
So stay warm, leave iguanas alone, and whatever you do, don't do what this man's friend did and bag them up and take them to the dump. It will not end well.