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What are some interesting facts about crocodiles?

 

When we talk about an animal that hasn't essentially changed for over 2 million years, that has survived the most adverse of situations and extinctions, and that remains the most superior of its kind, everything is interesting.


I used to think that crocodilians were just large reptiles that ambush their prey when it approaches the water and eat it. When you dig a little deeper however, you find a highly complex and advanced animal.


So, after million years of survival and DNA “experience”, these are some incredible things that crocodiles can do:

What are some interesting facts about crocodiles?

When we talk about an animal that hasn't essentially changed for over 2 million years, that has survived the most adverse of situations and extinctions, and that remains the most superior of its kind, everything is interesting.


I used to think that crocodilians were just large reptiles that ambush their prey when it approaches the water and eat it. When you dig a little deeper however, you find a highly complex and advanced animal.


So, after million years of survival and DNA “experience”, these are some incredible things that crocodiles can do:



They don't just die out of hunger, because they will slow their metabolism and endure for months. [1]Additionally, they have been observed using branches as tools, in order to lure birds! This behavior is deliberately done, as it is only observed during spring, when the need for the construction of the nest arises.


They don't just die when they lose a limb because their body prevents the spread of possible diseases and infections and completely heals.


They don't just die from the heat as they can enter a state called aestivation, in which they drop their metabolic rate and remain dormant until the temperature drops to a more tolerable level.[3] Alligators also don’t freeze to death immediately, even though they're ectothermic, because they will stick out their nostrils and continue living frozen, for up to a week, by adjusting the flow of oxygen in their bodies. This ability is called brumation. (only alligators however) 


They don't just get sick by bacteria found in the environment and food because their immune system is unparalleled. So much so, that scientists want to use it to extend our longevity. It has been observed that the immune system of crocodilians is extremely advanced. During an experiment, when human blood was exposed to 23 strains of bacteria, it managed to exterminate 8 of them, while crocodile blood easily annihilated all 23 strains! 


They don't just miss their prey frequently because they have sensory organs (ISOs) that detect pressure changes in the water. 

They don't just die out of dehydration because they have glands that control the absorption of salt. (most big crocodiles but mainly Saltwater crocodile)


They don't just drown when they attempt to swallow their prey because they have evolved an organ (palatal valve) which seals their esophagus and trachea/windpipe to prevent flow of water. 

They don’t just die if they’ve swallowed a horn or a hoof as the acid in their stomach is very potent and it allows them to digest these hard materials. Additionally, they can swallow small stones which are also believed to assist in the digestion process. 

When it comes to such a marvel of nature, one can only have awe and admire this evolutionary champion

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