Lesson #110: Crocodiles

Urban Planner Housemate and I were watching a nature program today.* We were learning about the four most perfected strikes in nature, so we learned about the great white, the cheetah, nile crocodiles and the peregrine falcon. It was interesting.

Anyway, I learned the crocodiles can go for a year without eating. During the dry season, they dig themselves into the dirt along the river banks and essentially suspend animation, a state that Marine Biologist housemate would invariably have called “torpid” because she tends to use the proper terms for these things. Crocs can hide themselves in just 30 centimetres of water, can stay submerged for up to three hours by shutting off one of the chambers of their hearts and if they’re hanging out above the water with their mouths open, they’re just cooling off. The crocodiles sweat glands are in its mouth. Mostly Urban Planner Housemate just spend an hour marveling at the fact that crocodiles somehow managed to survive the dinosaur extinction and that they finished their evolutionary process 200 million years ago.**

*For some reason in my house, we watch a lot of cooking competitions — we’re all addicted to Masterchef Australia — and nature television.  Urban Planner Housemate and I once spent three hours watching a program about a lion sanctuary in New Zealand or Australia (I can’t remember which.

**Lots and lots about crocodiles here.

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