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Arctic Alligators

Arctic alligators

September's Pic of the Month was taken by Israel Dupont. This fascinating image looks to have been taken in the icy Arctic, but the reality is a little closer to home.

Israel explains everything:

"I'm afraid I cannot claim any technical wizardry, but probably just the beneficiary of a serendipitous outcome, as far as that shot is concerned. I took this one with a simple automatic Canon SureShot Z115 Camera and Kodak Select "Black and White + " (400 speed) film. Kodak makes it so it develops with that sepia tone. In this pic the duckweed even appears somewhat pink. It was a fairly bright day that day, so everything just happened to work in my favor."

Perhaps it's no coincidence that the photograph was taken at Jungle Adventures in a place called Christmas, Florida. The idea of alligators living in the Arctic may seem absurd, but did you know that large American alligators can survive freezing conditions? Adults caught in small pools of water ensure their noses project above the surface as it freezes, literally encasing their head and back in ice. The ice slows their metabolic rate to such a degree that survival is enhanced (even if they are trapped under the ice for several hours), and usually they suffer little more than frost bite. Juveniles tend to find warmer shelter, as they risk freezing solid if they're caught out in the open - something they cannot survive.


Would you like to enter your best photograph into the 2002 competition? Send me a photograph and I'll include the best here each month. The winner will be voted for in January 2003, and will receive an Ilfochrome print prize to be awarded in early 2003. The only criteria for submitting a photograph is this: it must capture the attention.


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