When we have eaten too much or when our tummy doesn’t feel good, we sometimes need to take digestive pills to aid digestion. Crocodiles do the same; but instead of pills, they eat stones!
Crocodiles are found all over the world and they live near water bodies such as rivers, lakes and marshes.
They usually feed on small mammals, birds and fish. Some are also known to eat larger mammals like the deer and wild boar. A crocodile crushes its prey with its powerful jaws and then swallows it whole, since it cannot chew or break down its food into smaller pieces. To help digest the food inside its stomach, a crocodile also swallows small stones. The stones break down the food through a mechanical grinding action, thus making it easier for digestion. This also ensures that the crocodile eats the whole prey and not waste any part of it.
A crocodile’s stomach has two parts: the first part is a muscular pouch that stores these stones, where the food is grinded and the second part digests the food with the help of gastric acid.
Some crocodiles swallow stones to add weight so that they can dive deeper, stay underwater for longer periods and maintain balance while swimming.