Home News Alligator Death Roll Unraveled

Alligator Death Roll Unraveled Print
Thursday, 22 March 2007 19:00

fishWest Chester, Pennsylvania (Mar 27, 2007 14:51 EST):  Other than on television, few of us have ever seen the spectacular spin (and ghastly consequences) of the crocodilian “death roll.” But, in a basement laboratory in the University’s Schmucker’s Science building, a biologist and physicist have been video taping young alligators spinning with the ferocity of their older, larger cousins in the wild.

In doing so, the researchers created a mathematical model that provides the first explanation as to how these long thin reptiles are able to spin with such force in the water.

In a paper entitled, “Death roll of the alligator: mechanics of twist feeding in water,” to be published in the Journal of Experimental Biology, West Chester University biologist Frank Fish and physicist Anthony Nicastrobiology student Sandra Bostic and biologist John Beneski chronicled the particular spinning movement of juvenile alligators in water after biting into a pliable target. Through the use of high-speed videos, the researchers were able to examine the specific mechanics of the spinning maneuver – detailing the movements of body components and measuring their spinning performance. and

See the entire article at Underwatertimes.com


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