10 Animals With Super Skin Power

One of the most important organs of the body is also one of the most overlooked and abused: the skin. Seldom do we stop to consider the vital fleshy sheath that holds in all of our squishy organs and fluids. Skin is like the tortilla that keeps our enchilada filling from running everywhere. Skin is part of the “integumentary system,” which also includes hair, fingernails, feathers, hooves, etc.

It keeps us safe from parasites and microscopic invaders while also giving us a marvelous tactile sense of the world around us. Across the animal kingdom, skins come in all shapes, sizes, and flavors (narwhal skin has as much vitamin C as an orange). But a few are so amazing that they qualify as outright superpowers.

10 Crocodiles Can Feel You Swimming

Crocodilians are a tough, ornery bunch. And they’ve got the armor and weapons to back up their bad mood. Their skin is legendary for its toughness and is still sought after today for boots and clothing. It is also unexpectedly sensitive. Besides possessing one of the toughest hides on the planet, members of the crocodile family have a battery of sensors, unlike any other animal.

For starters, their face is “more sensitive to pressure and vibration than human fingertips.” It’s considered to be one the most acute sense of touch in the animal kingdom. Not bad for a reptile that looks like a mean callus. Bumps around their jaw and down the sides of their bodies can sense the faintest ripples in the water. That’s how they can snap at prey in the water so accurately. They can literally feel what’s going on in the water around them.

They also have a lot of sensors in their mouth and around their teeth. A croc mother can gently break open the egg of one of her hatching babies and then carry him into the water, all with her sensitive mouth. So all that’s pretty amazing and stuff, but that’s not the end of it. Crocodiles also have chemical receptors in their skin. Scientists suspect they use this to help them find prey or suitable habitats.