Alligators survive in frozen water by keeping nostrils in the air

Video shows alligators surviving frigid, freezing North Carolina water by keeping their nostrils in the air

With much of America dealing with a severe cold snap, we're getting a look at how alligators survive the freezing temperatures.

The cold snap may be over in North Carolina but have you ever wondered how alligators breathe when ponds and lakes are frozen over?

Howard first noticed the gators' snouts sticking out of the frozen pond in the 3,000 square foot enclosure when he was checking the enclosure after last Wednesday's snow storm.

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If the alligators didn't keep their snouts above the water surface, they'd perish in about 24 hours ― the maximum amount of time they can stay underwater without coming up for air.

Experts say that alligators nearly instinctively know when the pond is about to freeze over.

Frozen alligators are this winter's top attraction in North Carolina.

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Once the alligators area able to breath they'll fall into a hibernation known as brumation. Yes that is correct: stationary alligators, frozen in the water are actually alive and how they survive the cold temperatures is startling.

"Just hanging out in the water there". At least not while the water is still frozen around them. And then I realized as I saw some teeth that, oh my gosh, these guys are poking their heads up out of the water. "And it made sense immediately why they were doing it".

The park has 12 gators rescued from captivity now hibernating in the ice.

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