Those ‘Frozen’ Alligators Aren’t Dead, They’re Using A Weird Survival Strategy

Alligators living at an animal sanctuary in North Carolina spend the winter months brumating in the ice-covered waters of a lake. Barely moving to conserve energy in a process called brumating, they poke their noses through the ice to breathe.

If you visit Shallotte River Swamp Park during the winter, you’ll see a strange sight. Here 8 alligators make their home, and when the weather turns cold they brumate in the icy lakes of the sanctuary.

Brumating is an activity reptiles perform, where they attain a hibernation-like state during the winter. They move slowly, limiting their food intake, and sleeping for large portions of the day. In this case, the alligators only seem to move when they need to breathe, poking their noses up through the ice to get air.