Both alligators and crocodiles perform the maneuver known as the "death roll." These creatures carry out this spinning action when they are attempting to get control of their prey.
According to the Journal of Experimental Biology, an alligator or crocodile in the process of subduing prey rotates its body very quickly along its longitudinal axis. The movement is most often employed when the prey is too large to be swallowed on the spot and is useful for animals that are unable to tear their food into manageable pieces for consumption. The teeth of alligators and crocodiles are effective for grabbing prey but not for biting it into small pieces. The death roll provides the movement needed for this aspect of eating.