PHOTOS: Alligator River Refuge hosts its namesake inhabitants

[Karen Lebing photo]

They’re not all about the bass, but they are all about the temperature.

The Alligator River Refuge American alligator population gets pretty static during the winter months. They are ectotherms, meaning their behavior is regulated by outside temperature.

[Beverly Meekins photo]

As spring brings warmer temperatures, gators begin to move about. They thermoregulate like other reptiles, by basking in the sun, and cooling down in the shade and water. Activity is a relative term. To a gator, being active might mean crawling up on a log for the day. In contrast, an active otter might involve running, swimming and sliding.

As you explore Alligator River Refuge, check canals and shorelines to see if you can spot an alligator.

Make reservations to ride the Alligator River Refuge open-air tram tour. Next scheduled tram tour is Saturday May 7, 9-11 am $10/person. Call 252-216-9464 for details and reservations.

[N.C. Wildlife Refuge photo]

This story originally appeared on OBXToday.com. Read More local stories here.