Crocs have an eye for the prize

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS -

THE warn­ing never to smile at a croc­o­dile could be ex­tended to never eye­ing off a croc­o­dile, as new re­search re­veals they have uniquely adapted reti­nas that can scan the river­banks with star­tling clar­ity.

Crocs typ­i­cally lie off­shore with only their eyes above the water.

Pre­vi­ously, it was un­known what ex­actly their acute eye­sight could de­tect.

The an­swer, says Univer­sity of Western Aus­tralia PhD re­searcher Ni­co­las Na­gloo in the Jour­nal of Ex­per­i­men­tal Bi­ol­ogy, is that they have a ter­ri­fy­ingly ac­cu­rate view of any hap­less crea­ture along the shore­line.

“They have these elon­gated sen­sory re­cep­tors … that al­lows them to sur­vey the river­bank at max­i­mum vis­ual clar­ity,” Mr Na­gloo says. “They can then track the move­ment of their prey with­out hav­ing to move.”

They also found dif­fer­ences in the cone cells, which sense colours, be­tween salt­wa­ter and fresh­wa­ter crocodiles.

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