A cold snap in southern Florida, US, knocks iguanas from trees, in a phenomenon that has repeated over the years, whenever January enters its last stretch. The state is one of the hottest on the territory of North America, so it is comfortable for reptiles. As winter intensifies and temperatures drop, the body of these animals reacts in a strange way.
“Iguanas are cold-blooded animals. They slow down or become immobile when temperatures drop below 9 degrees Celsius,” the South Florida Meteorological Service said in a tweet. “They could fall from the trees, but they didn’t die.”
The impression one gets when looking at iguanas that have fallen from trees is that they are frozen. In fact, the reptile enters a kind of lethargy, continuing to breathe normally and perform all the essential functions of the body to sustain life.
When the temperature rises again to an acceptable level, the iguana begins to move again and leaves the land of roads, sidewalks and boxes that it fell into immobile. In either case, there is a risk of death, especially for smaller specimens exposed to extreme cold for longer than eight hours.
South Florida recorded a low of -3.9 degrees Celsius on Sunday morning. The day before, the northeastern region of the United States was hit by a winter storm that led many regions to declare a state of emergency, to the point where more than 1,400 flights were canceled in the country.
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