Questions in Crocodilian Physiology
Morphologists, physiologists, behaviourists and ecologists have traditionally asked different and often mutually exclusive questions within their different conceptual frameworks. Only the concept of natural selection and the idea that the animals have been modified for one or another mode of life history provide a common denominator or common framework for comparison. This approach also suggests that the observed responses to disturbance and to the multiple facies of the biotope are likely to be adaptive and that such adaptation is to be looked for. Finally one can see that selection is apt to differ during the stages of ontogeny and that age-specific selection is likely to produce age-specific adaptation. Three cautions then apply to the interpretation of data now in the literature. Each reflects the need to treat the animal holistically in an adaptive context.