How Do Crocodiles Adapt to Their Environment?

Mark Harris/CC-BY-SA 2.0

Crocodiles adaptations include body armor that protects them from predators, strong jaw muscles that allow them to crush bones, a powerful immune system to fight off illness, behaviors that allow them to control body temperature, an evolved metabolism that allows them to go for extended periods without food, and the ability to shut down their body and live from its own tissue if the need arises. Modern crocodiles as we know them first appeared around 80 million years ago, and they have outlived dinosaurs with little changes to their bodies throughout time.

Crocodiles are cold-blooded creatures who are able to gather the heat they need from the environment in which they live. They are capable of controlling their body temperatures by seeking out water when the weather is hot and lying in the sun whenever they are cold. This ability allows them to conserve energy, which is helpful when the crocodile doesn’t have a steady food source.

The metabolism of the crocodile has evolved so it can store almost everything it eats. The crocodile can go without food for over a year, although most have around 50 meals annually.

These adaptions, along with the crocodile’s complex brain and its superior ability to hear and smell have helped the species survive for a millenia.