Freezing temperatures have strange effects on nature

Jack Suede, Staff Writer

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   This year’s Christmas break brought freezing temperatures across all of the United States, affecting many species of animals. Many animals are adapted and used to warm, tropical weather; however, this recent cold front came with some unexpected outcomes.

  In one case, sharks in Cape Cod were frozen to death from the freezing waters of the Atlantic. Over this recent break, temperatures in Cape Cod dropped to as low as 5 degrees Fahrenheit. Cape Cod is a hook-shaped peninsula in Massachusetts, and the inland waters are relatively shallow compared to the open ocean. Due to the frigid temperatures, three thresher sharks experienced a cold shock that killed them. A cold shock occurs when an organism experiences a sudden drop in temperature.

  It is very rare for sharks to die from freezing temperatures alone. They are often killed from fishing, other animals, or age.

  Samantha Mackool, ‘18 commented, “I knew some sharks have natural predators and usually die from age or competition, but I never knew that they could die from the water temperature.”

  The oceans tend to stay a constant temperature all year; however, since the Cape Cod waters are more inland, the water can actually get colder and freeze.

  Ryan Ford, ‘19 stated, “I heard about these sharks freezing on the news. It was pretty shocking to hear that because I thought the ocean always stayed around the same temperature.”

  In another instance, iguanas in Florida were seen falling from trees or their perches due to a sudden cold shock. Temperatures in southern Florida dropped to 38 degrees Fahrenheit. This cold shock, however, differed from the case of the sharks in that the iguanas were still living.

  At first, some citizens disposed of the iguanas while they were in their coma, but they later found out that the iguanas were still alive. These iguanas most likely died since they were trapped in a trash bag at a dump site. Iguanas that were not thrown away were observed to be feisty after they woke up.

  Ryan Ford, ‘19 stated, “I probably would not touch the iguanas if I saw that they looked dead. I heard iguana bites are very painful, so I wouldn’t risk it.”

  Other than sharks freezing to death and iguanas falling from trees, many animals in the U.S. were also affected by the cold, but not necessarily in a bad way. San Diego Zoo polar bears really enjoyed the cold weather, as they were seen playing in the snow and cold water.

  Nevertheless, strange things happened across the country due to the abnormal drop in temperatures for the New Year.

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Freezing temperatures have strange effects on nature