Journal of Comparative Physiology A

, Volume 163, Issue 4, pp 441–443

Crocodiles don't focus underwater


  • L. J. Fleishman
    • Department of ZoologyUniversity of Texas
  • H. C. Howland
    • Division of Biological SciencesCornell University
  • M. J. Howland
    • Division of Biological SciencesCornell University
  • A. S. Rand
    • Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
  • M. L. Davenport
    • Department of HerpetologyNational Zoological Park

DOI: 10.1007/BF00604898

Cite this article as:
Fleishman, L.J., Howland, H.C., Howland, M.J. et al. J. Comp. Physiol. (1988) 163: 441. doi:10.1007/BF00604898


Crocodilians are amphibious reptiles which hunt prey both on land and in water. Previous refractive and anatomical studies have suggested that their eyes can focus objects in air and that their ability to refocus the eye underwater may be limited. Examination of the plane of focus of six species of crocodilians both in air and underwater has revealed that they are generally well focused in air for distant targets and severely defocused underwater. These results suggest that sensory systems other than vision must play an important role in prey capture underwater.




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© Springer-Verlag 1988