If you're looking at a photograph of a crocodile but can't figure out exactly where his ears are located, don't assume that he doesn't have any. Crocodiles indeed possess ears. Not only do the cold-blooded creatures have ears, they have pretty strong hearing abilities, as well. They're capable of picking up on piercing sounds that are inaudible to humans.
Finding Crocodiles' Ears
Crocodiles' heads feature narrow openings that lead to their sophisticated inner ears. These ears are situated right in the back of their eyes, just as those of alligators are. When crocodiles fully plunge their bodies into water, these openings promptly shut thanks to the presence of tiny skin folds. This prevents water from getting inside of their ears. The placement of their ears on the upper portions of their heads enables them to easily detect sounds when their bodies are mostly in the water. The strategic elevated positioning of their eyes and noses also enables them to use their vision and olfactory skills in similar instances.
Strong Hearing and Smelling
Crocodiles have strong hearing, which assists them in tracking down prey animals. They depend on their hearing when they're hunting for food in especially unclear or dark lighting circumstances. They occasionally even track down prey by smelling for it. Crocodiles are lucky enough to have strong smelling capabilities. Their noses can indicate to them the general variety of animals that are present in their surroundings.
Vision for Hunting
While hearing is undoubtedly an important component in crocodiles' daily lives, their vision is actually the tool they use the most in their hunting efforts. When they turn to their ears for hunting, it typically signifies that they're having an inordinately tough time spotting anything in murky waters. When it comes to seeing well in relative darkness, crocodiles are better equipped than human beings. Crocodiles' pupils have the ability to bring high levels of light in. Their eyes face the front and are also situated right by each other, which aids them in analyzing exactly how far they are from prey.
Crocodiles' ears, eyes and noses all make an effective team for assisting these reptiles in their quests for sustenance. Crocodiles are meat eaters and aren't too picky about it. If they can seize an animal, they'll probably eat it. Some of the foods that crocodiles frequently consume are monkeys, snakes, buffalo, snails, deer, fish, pigs, birds, insects, turtles and frogs. It isn't even unheard of for them to eat human beings. The size of a crocodile often determines what kind of prey he can eat.
- Crocodiles; Anne Welsbacher
- San Diego Zoo Animals: Crocodilian
- Young People's Trust for the Environment: Crocodile
- National Geographic: Crocodile Facts
- World Animal Foundation: Crocodile Fact Sheet
- Northern Territory Government: Crocodile Facts
- PBS NOVA: Anatomy of a Croc
- Crocodiles; Sally M. Walker
- Crocodiles and Alligators; Gerald Legg
Tom Brakefield/Stockbyte/Getty Images