Your worst fucking nightmare

The fear of a shark attack has many people terrified of going into open water. However, in real life, you are probably 168 times more likely to be eaten by a crocodile than by a shark. This post isn’t about statistics, and that number can totally be ignored if you live in Canada.

Anyway, crocodiles are not nearly as slow witted as previously believed. Last fall, it was discovered that some crocodylians use tools to catch birds.

Before

After

Mugger crocodiles Crocodylus palustris in India and American alligators Alligator mississippiensis in the USA have both been observed to lie, partially submerged, beneath egret and heron colonies with sticks balanced across their snouts. Birds approach to collect the sticks for use in nest building and… well, let’s just say that it doesn’t end well for the birds. If the crocodylians really are using the sticks as bait to attract their bird prey, this is tool use, since the sticks are objects that are being employed for a specific function.

If that isn’t worrisome enough, some species have now been seen climbing fucking TREES!!

Researchers in the climbing study observed crocodiles in Australia, Africa and North America. The study documented crocodiles climbing as high as six feet off the ground. But Dinets said he received anecdotal reports from people who spend time around crocodiles of the reptiles climbing almost 30 feet.

Dinets said crocodiles lack the toe and foot structure that would be expected of a climber. However, smaller and juvenile crocodiles in particular were observed climbing vertically while larger ones tended to climb angled trunks and branches, all of which is a measure of the reptiles’ spectacular agility, he said.

“They just go slowly,” he said. “Eventually they get there.”

Paddle just a little closer…

This is not new to people who hang out with crocs, but it’s news to me.

“The most frequent observations of tree-basking were in areas where there were few places to bask on the ground, implying that the individuals needed alternatives for regulating their body temperature,” the authors wrote.

“Likewise, their wary nature suggests that climbing leads to improved site surveillance of potential threats and prey.”

Just what I needed to hear. Imagine peacefully paddling down a tropical river enjoying the flora and fauna in the surrounding rainforest, and all of a sudden, a crocodile drops on your fucking head.

Reptilian overlords indeed.

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One Response to Your worst fucking nightmare

  1. Pingback: Saved by a snake | PEI Curmudgeon's Blog

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