For years, it was hypothesized that eating stones might also help a crocodile stay under the water longer and to dive deeper. Many crocodilians like to float in the water with just their eyes and nostrils showing so they can ambush their prey. It was thought that a stomach full of rocks might help the crocodile keep their bodies under the water and out of sight.
New research shows that this hypothesis might be wrong! Recent research by a paleontologist named Don Henderson has shown that for the rocks to help stabilize the buoyancy of the crocodile's body, the rocks would have to account for at least 6% of the body mass of the crocodile. They have now measured it, and the rocks only account for about 2% of body mass. Below 6%, the filling and emptying of the lungs has a much greater effect on the buoyancy of the crocodile than the stones. However, a low number of rocks might keep the crocodile from rolling from side to side. Also, with fewer rocks, they might not have helped grind up their food either. It is surprising what we are finding out today!
This shows us that even a hypothesis that seems obvious needs to be tested! It seems that the scientific method we all learned in elementary school would have some merit here! #crocodiles #crocodileseatingstones