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Aquatic features of crocodiles and alligators

Updated on May 6, 2012

9 months ago, someone asked why crocodiles and alligators are suited for life in the water. Well, that's a pretty easy though longish thing to explain.

- Secondary palate which allows the mouth to be open without water flowing into the throat as well as a flap that covers the throat

- Raised nostrils, eyes and ears which allow it to keep its senses above the water and be able to see above the water line without revealing the entire body

- Advanced touch system on the snout that can tell when objects are moving in the water, especially when objects break the surface

- Ability to secrete excess salt through salt glands in the snout for saltwater crocodiles (Crocodylus porosus)

- Very thick skin and armor which keeps excess salinity from being absorbed into the skin (this lets many crocodilians swim up coast lines and between islands and move in and out of very brackish areas for a short time)

- Body armor on the belly has special structures which can detect too high of salinity and lets them stay out of water that is too brackish

- Strong tail to hip muscles that allow them to propel strongly through the water

- Ear flaps that keep water out of the ears when going under water

- Webbed feet for paddling in shower water

- Strong conical teeth to snag prey in the water that move quickly, like fish

I can't think of any others, but I hope this helps!


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