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Gators poke snouts out of freezing Oklahoma water in an effort to breathe

It's a behavior most commonly referred to as "icing."
Credit: David Arbour/Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation

OKLAHOMA, USA — Freezing temperatures in Oklahoma have alligators' survival instincts kicking in.

Photos captured by Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation (ODWC) official David Arbour show gators in frozen water, with just their snouts poking out.

"Alligators are turning up their noses at this week's freezing temperatures," the state agency wrote on Facebook.

It's a behavior most commonly referred to as "icing." ODWC says it helps the massive reptiles survive brief stints during icy conditions. 

LiveScience reports brumation, similar to hibernation for mammals, slows an alligators metabolism down and allows it to go without food for around four to five months.

If you're wondering what gators are doing in Oklahoma in the first place? The state falls just within the northwest edge of "the alligator's range," according to the state agency.

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