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Thermal Tolerance

In message <9604082034.AA29728@lepomis.psych.upenn.edu>  writes:
> Rob Meyerson wrote:

> > FYI, up until one hundred years ago (or so) there were alligators in
> > Virginia, showing that the group can be relatively adaptable to colder
> > climates. 

There is an  report in the literature of an alligator surviving as far north as 
Ohio and Pennsylvania through winters in which ponds actually froze solid.  The 
Pennsylvania alligator made it through 5 winters like that as long as it could 
maintain a breathing hole.  Note, this is without an underwater burrow, the 
usual method of surviving freezing in Louisiana etc. The young alligators do not
handle the cold well at all so this is an unusual occurance ... but, it does 
show that largish reptiles do surprisingly well in truly cold climates.  

Rich Hengst
Dept. of Biol. Sci.
Purdue Univ. North Central
Westville, IN  46391
Office  219/  785-5251
Fax  219/785-5355