Alligators in Oklahoma went into a deep freeze this week as frigid, icy temperatures plague much of the central and eastern United States.
Wildlife photographer David Arbour captured stunning photos of several alligators poking their snouts through the ice to breathe at the Red Slough Wildlife Management Area this week.
While the alligators may appear to be dead, scientists say they’re not. It’s a survival technique alligators use when the water starts to freeze.
Adam E. Rosenblatt, a biology professor at the University of North Florida, tells Science Alert that when the alligators go under, they enter what’s called “brumation”—a hibernation-like state for reptiles. Their bodies almost entirely shut down and all they need to do is breathe. Basically, the ice sticks to their snouts, locking them in place while their bodies dangle below the surface.
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