Despite their reputation as ferocious carnivores, crocodiles don’t actually need to eat regularly to survive. They are cold-blooded (or “ectotherms”), so they don’t need such a high metabolism because they use the environment to gain body heat. They bask in the sun when they are cold and find water or shade when they get too hot.
A crocodile’s metabolism is also incredibly efficient. Their bodies will use up almost every molecule of the food that they eat. Although most crocodiles will hunt as often as they can – consuming about 50 full meals a year – if there is no food available they are able to survive for over a year without eating. They seem to shut down and live off their own fat and muscle reserves until they manage to find food again.