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Vanderbilt researchers: Alligators and crocodiles possess acute sense of touch.

by Dec. 18, 2012, 9:10 AM

Crocodiles and alligators are notorious for their thick skin and well-armored bodies. So it comes as something of a surprise to learn that their sense of touch is one of the most acute in the animal kingdom. The crocodilian sense of touch is concentrated in a series of small, pigmented domes that dot their skin all over their body. In alligators, the spots are concentrated around their face and jaws. A new Vanderbilt University study, published in the Nov. 8 issue of the Journal of Experimental Biology, has discovered that these spots contain a concentrated collection of touch sensors that make them even more sensitive to pressure and vibration than human fingertips.

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