Into the crocodile’s mouth

By Brendan Moyle 09/11/2010

The thing about crocodiles, is that a lot of the business end is focused on the jaws. The mouth it self is a wonderful piece of evolution.

If you take a look at this shot, you can see that the palate extends all the way back to cover the back of the throat.

Click to bring up larger version
Click to bring up larger version

This palate means that when the crocodile grabs its prey and dives to the bottom of the river, water does not flow back down the throat.

This shot gives you a closer look at the teeth.

A couple of things should be pretty obvious. First, these teeth are numerous and well shaped to sink deep into flesh. They’re quite long teeth and any wallaby (or person) would have many of these driven deep into the body. That jaw is also large and muscular. Once it bites down on prey, there’s pretty much nothing they prey can do to escape. Even tiny juveniles have a very iron-like grip.

The second thing is that if you look at the anterior teeth, you can see one of these is much smaller. It is in effect growing back. Crocodiles are heavily dependent on teeth for survival, so losing some and having them grow back is a handy adaptation.