Information on Crocodiles Page 3

 

Crocodile Information

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All crocodilians have powerful jaws. Their sharp teeth are designed for grasping and tearing, and can be periodically replaced. Crocodilians swallow stones to aid in digestion of food. Crocodilians' digestive system is powerful enough to dissolve the bones of their prey. When food is plentiful, they store fat in their tails and body. The fat enables them to go long periods without eating.

All crocodiles have a gland in their mouth that allows them to extract and eject salt from saltwater so it can be drunk. This gland is more efficient in some species than others.

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There is slight webbing between some of the digits of the Morelet's crocodile. This is an aid to swimming, even though most of the propulsion in swimming is done by the crocodile's tail. 

Hunting

Crocodiles stalk their prey before a swift attack. Mammalian prey is caught and pulled underwater to drown before being torn to pieces and eaten. Some crocodilians will actually gallop for a short distance in pursuit of prey on land.  The secondary palate in their mouth allows them to have their mouth open while hunting in water without drowning.

Popular Culture

Crocodiles have become the object in man versus the wild.  The “Crocodile Hunter” and “Crocodile Dundee have grown to fame, and Elton John’s 1972 single, “Crocodile Rock” was a huge hit.  The phrase “never smile at a crocodile” has begun part of English vernacular.


 


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