Gator Feelings: Tough faces, more sensitive than ours

10:20am, May 16, 2002

Alligators may not be the usual exemplar of delicate skin, but some of it is exquisitely sensitive. Gator faces carry pressure receptors so responsive that they can detect ripples on the water's surface from a single falling drop.

That's more responsive than human skin, even lips. "Crocodilians have taken skin sensitivity to the next level," says Daphne Soares of the University of Maryland in College Park.

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