Crocodiles have the ability to sleep with one eye open - to keep a lookout for prey
Published 29/10/2015 | 12:06
Crocodiles have the ability to sleep with one eye open, scientists have discovered.
The skill allows them to keep an eye out for prey – or potential threats – while they doze.
In the study, researchers found that crocodiles were more likely to leave one eye open when a human was nearby.
Napping with one half of the brain at a time, known as unihemispheric sleep, is already seen in dolphins and walruses.
The use of “unilateral eye closure” was found by the scientists when they used an aquarium lined with infrared cameras.
The research findings were published in the Journal of Experimental Biology.
Crocodile numbers have swelled across Australia's tropical north since the species was protected by law in 1971. The population is densest in the Northern Territory.