sargetsi‘s internal anatomy diagrams of a sea turtle and a crocodile for her Guts badge. Here’s some of what she learned about what goes on inside these animals:
crocodile digestion: The crocodile has a single row of up to 80
teeth that it uses for grabbing and holding prey (not for chewing; it will
swallow food whole if it can). It has very powerful jaws, the strongest of any
animal (5,000 pounds of force vs. 670 pounds of force from a great white shark).
It has a flap at the back of its throat called the palatal valve that prevents
water from flowing into its throat, allowing it to open its mouth underwater.
The Crocodile’s stomach has two chambers, one for grinding up food and another
for absorbing nutrients. Its digestive system is the most acidic of any
vertebrate, allowing it to digest bones, horns, and hooves. The crocodile has a
very low metabolic rate, and can live for a year and a half without eating.
sea turtle respiration: Although sea turtles breath air, they live most of their
lives submerged in water, and have developed several methods that allow them to
survive in this way. They have large lungs that allow for a rapid exchange of
oxygen, which they can fill quickly with a single inhalation. They are also
able to regulate their heart rate; during long dives they will slow down their heart rate to conserve oxygen, and they can direct blood flow away from non-vital organs towards
the heart and nervous system. In extreme circumstances, sea turtles also can switch to anaerobic metabolism for a period of time.