Crocodile Adaptations: Lesson for Kids

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  • 0:04 Adaptations for Eating
  • 1:20 Cold-Blooded
  • 1:50 Eyes, Ears, and Nose
  • 2:33 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Diane Sieverson

Diane has taught all subjects at the elementary level, was the principal of a K-8 private school and has a master's degree in Measurement and Evaluation.

Crocodiles are reptiles that have developed different adaptations over millions of years. Come learn about these adaptations and how they help the crocodile survive both in and out of the water.

Adaptations for Eating

It's a bright, sunny day and you're swimming in a river with your friends. They decide to get out and have a picnic, but you stay in and paddle around for a while. You get the feeling something is swimming around nearby, watching you. Since you can't see below the water and have a creepy feeling, you decide to get out and join the picnic. It's a good thing you did, because a hungry crocodile was watching you!

Crocodiles are aquatic reptiles that have been around for millions of years. They have special adaptations, which are characteristics that help animals survive in their natural habitat, which, for a crocodile, is in and around water.

If you're going to be around for a long time, you need to be able to find food to survive. Some animals only have certain foods that they can eat, but not crocodiles. They are meat-loving carnivores but aren't picky eaters - crocodiles will eat almost any kind of animal they can find and catch, alive or dead and big or small. And they eat the whole animal, including things like horns, bones, and shells.

The adaptation that lets a crocodile eat most animals is the very strong acid in its stomach. It can break down everything crocodiles eat, making it easier for them to find a snack when they need it. And did you know that crocodiles can't chew? To adapt to this problem, a crocodile will spin its body around very fast, which helps tear up the food in its mouth.

Cold-Blooded

Crocodiles are cold-blooded, which means their body doesn't make its own heat the way yours does. But their mouths act like built-in thermostats that let them control their body temperature, much like the way you can control the temperature in your house.

To do this, crocodiles lay out in the sun with their mouths wide open. This is called gaping. It lets them keep their body temperature at a constant and comfortable temperature. For American crocodiles, that temperature is around 77 degrees Fahrenheit, which is more than 20 degrees colder than a human's.

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