If you watched the BBC: Crocodile »1995 or other documentaries about these predatory reptiles, you probably saw how lazy and slow they look. However, this is far from the case, because being in nature, these dangerous creatures can literally ride like horses to catch up with their prey. Previously, it was believed that only Australian narrow-crocodiles (Crocodylus johnstoni) were able to gallop, but recently researchers from the British Royal Veterinary College found that many other amphibian predators have this ability.
The discovery of British researchers toldScienceAlert Edition. Scientists led by evolutionary biomechanics John Hutchinson installed cameras on the territory of a zoological park in Florida and monitored the movement of reptiles. In particular, they were interested in 42 individuals of 15 species of crocodiles, including various alligators and small caimans. In the course of observations, the researchers found that reptiles have a different manner of movement. At the same time, some species of crocodiles, if necessary, can quickly run, jumping like horses.
According to John Hutchinson, despite differentmanners of running, crocodiles and alligators develop equally high speed. Regardless of body size, these mammals are able to run at speeds up to 18 kilometers per hour. But no matter how you say it, when running, crocodiles take much more steps than close relatives. According to researchers, the fast step frequency allows small crocodiles to quickly escape from larger predators, but alligators and caimans cannot boast of such ability.
Did you know that the rarest species of crocodiles began to breed actively
Why aren't alligators capable of this?races, scientists do not know yet. There is speculation that crocodiles inherited the skill from one of their ancient ancestors. Perhaps, ancient predators called Rauisuchia, who were very similar to modern crocodiles and were currently considered the main enemies of the dinosaurs, were able to gallop.
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It may also be that running fast withWith a high frequency of steps, some species of crocodiles have learned over time. Such a skill could become necessary for them to survive, because in some regions of our planet more dangerous predators prey on small reptiles and crocodiles can only run away from them quickly and hide from sight.