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Crocodiles And A Warmer Environment

Crocodiles as we all know are cold blooded. And they also spend a lot of time in and around water. Those are things we know, so what will happen when global warming kicks in and by extension, the water itself warms up?

Well crocodiles do a lot of long dives spending a lot of time underwater before surfacing for air, and this is important for them to be able to find food, and also indeed in order to get away from their predators.

Now, because their metabolic rate goes up when it is warm around them - in warm water - then it also follows that their body uses up their oxygen more quickly.

What this means is that they are not able to dive and stay underwater for as long a period of time. At the moment this happens naturally with them diving for less time for instance in the summer when their rate rises due to the warmth; whilst in the winter they will make longer dives.

So in the future if temperatures rise then they will not be able to dive for as long and that could compromise their ability both to find food and in addition their ability to avoid predators, so it could be that global warming will be particularly bad for crocodiles.

Date published: 23 Jul 2010

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