作者：Science Alert 2020-01-02 14:20
Even on land, crocodiles are no fish out of water. While these reptiles might look lazy and slow sunning on the bank, they can easily pick up speed when necessary, and a scary number can gallop or bound like a horse or a dog.
Bounding is when an animal's forelimbs hit the ground at the same time, with the back legs pushing off soon after; meanwhile, a gallop is a four-beat sequence whereby the fore and hindlimbs take turns landing.
Freshwater crocodiles from Australia (Crocodylus johnstoni) were historically thought to be the only species capable of doing both. But that's not actually true. Not even close.
It turns out even scientists have underestimated these creatures. Past research suggested only a handful of croc species were able to gallop, but a new study now adds five more to the mix, suggesting it's a whole lot more common than we ever thought.
Setting up video cameras around a zoological park in Florida, veterinary scientists analysed the gaits and speeds of 42 individuals from 15 species of crocodylia, which includes true crocodiles (family Crocodylidae), alligators and caimans.
While alligators and caimans were only able to trot on land, the team noticed eight species of crocodile capable of galloping or bounding.