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Those turtles and iguanas aren’t dead. They’re just really cold.

Florida man carries frozen iguana

In this video shared by Jenna Isola, a man carries a frozen iguana near Palm Beach International Airport in West Palm Beach, Florida.
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In this video shared by Jenna Isola, a man carries a frozen iguana near Palm Beach International Airport in West Palm Beach, Florida.

Now, we know the temperature has really dropped in Florida — the iguanas are dropping, too.

Palm Beach County station CBS12 posted a gallery of fallen lizards. Palm Beach Post columnist Frank Cerabino walked out Thursday morning to temperatures in the 40s and an iguana on its back.

But in case you come across your own fallen iguana, know this: The iguanas aren’t necessarily dead. Their bodies just went into shut down mode. Once the temperature rises again, they’ll pop back to life.

Sea turtles also can appear to suffer a mortal hit of cold weather, but remain very much alive.

“When the water temperatures drop, stunned sea turtles may float listlessly in the water on or near shore,” the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission said. “Although these turtles may appear to be dead, they are often still alive.”

The FWC says it’s already rescued nearly 100 turtles so far, and asks people spotting turtles in such a state to call the Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-3922 (FWCC).

Manatees head for warmer waters, such as discharge canals, power plants and natural springs, when the temperatures plunge. Wildlife officials are asking boaters to be extra vigilant and to avoid areas where large numbers of manatees have gathered. Sustaining adequate winter habitat for manatees has been a statewide conservation goal.

In this archive video, Sherry Schlueter with the Wildlife Care Center explains why iguanas fall out of trees and lay motionless when the temperature gets too cold. Video is from Jan. 7, 2010.

David J. Neal: 305-376-3559, @DavidJNeal

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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