What Do the Alligators Do When the Weather Gets Cold in Myrtle Beach?
Last week the Grand Strand experienced temperatures in the 20’s and 30’s, and even dropped down in the teens, at one point overnight. Along with that came the rare occurrence of snow and ice! More than a few times last week, I heard people curiously asking, “What do the alligators do when the water freezes?” We were interested ourselves since, as many of you know, the lake behind Chesapeake House restaurant has been home to alligators over the years. Well, we have an answer for you…
Many of you probably assumed, as we did, that they would lay on the floor of the lake, since one would suspect that would be the warmest place for them. This isn’t entirely wrong, since in some places alligators will dig out dens for themselves along the bank and remain there for the Winter but, the alligators that were observed in North Carolina recently were doing something just a bit different. Some alligators will actually come to the surface at just the right time before the water freezes and stick the top of their snouts out, letting the water freeze around them. There they remain, essentially frozen, in a state of brumation(similar to hibernation, without the deep sleep cycle) until the ice thaws.
Alligators are pros when it comes to being able to regulate their body temperature in all kinds of conditions and actually spend the majority of their before-hibernation period, trying to soak up the sun and conserve energy for the Winter, as opposed to eating as much food as possible, as some might think. Instead of using the fluctuating temperatures as cues, they use the pattern of daylight, instead.
Now that we have satisfied your curiosity about alligators in the cold weather, we would like to thank everyone for their patience while our building undergoes upgrades, this Winter season. We look forward to reopening February 9th so that we may serve you once again!