Ketamine and alligators, not exactly a combination you hear often and DEFINITELY not one you’d wish to encounter after a gallop with the horses.
However, it looks like this terrifying combination could be doing some good after all, as researchers are looking at these 200 million year old death machines to study their hearing.
The paper was published in The Journal of Neuroscience by the experiment’s lead biologists – Lutz Kettler of the Technische Universität München and Catherine Carr of the University of Maryland – and they reckon the study was done to determine how alligators locate noises in their environment.
And also like, because giving alligators ketamine would be so fucking funny.
Once the alligators were sedated with a nice ol’ helping of ket, they were given ear buds and electrodes that were placed on their head in order to record their neural responses.
Interestingly enough, it was found that birds and alligators have similar auditory systems. When you consider how easy it is to spook a bird so they fly away when you’re near, now imagine how easily an alligator would hear you splashing about in their home. Spooky stuff.
Because alligators are old as fuck, we can also assume some insights into how other dinosaurs operate. Apparently the way alligators decode sound doesn’t change based on their sound, so a T-rex is more than likely to have the same auditory habits as birds or crocodiles.
Science is amazing.
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