February 17, 2009

Pennsylvania Has Punxsutawney Phil to Forecast Spring, the Carolinas Have Alligators

baby alligator Groundhog Day is a sacred time for people from snowbound cultures. The outcome of the day will provide the subliminal message for the ensuing weeks - either six more weeks of winter or an early spring.

The Carolinas have their own ambassador of Spring, the American Alligator.

alligator sunningBeing a cold-blooded animal, the gator's body temperature reflects the environment in which he inhabits. So when it's cold, he's cold and vice versa. Since the late days of November, our ambassador has been forced into a lethargic mode; however, the increasing amounts of daylight since the shortest day of the year (December 23rd) have sluggishly started nature towards spring.

The alligator, with daily routine, is monitoring the lengthening days for warmth. As temps warm, the alligator will begin basking on the shoreline to soak up the warm rays. And as the warmer days continue and their body temperature reaches 72 degrees, the scaley residents will begin feeding (usually sometime in April).

Read the full article from the
SC Department of Natural Resources.

Photo Credit: Gator on log & Baby Gator

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