Crocs have an eye for the prize
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.