Mugger crocodile (Crocodylus palustris) equipped with twigs.
American alligators, and their cousin Indian marsh crocodiles, apparently have figured out that if they balance twigs on their snouts, wading birds will try to snatch them for nests. For the quick-snapping gator, that’s free lunch. ...
A recently released study – published in Ethology, Ecology and Evolution – is the first to document “lure-baiting” by the species, and one of the few lure-baiting behaviors documented among animals overall.
Nah, you say – just dumb luck? Well, the study documented that alligators in Louisiana use the twig trick only during a relatively brief bird nesting season.
They have thought this thing through.
“For people working with alligators it comes as little surprise because we already know how smart they can be. But for the general public it is apparently a bit unexpected,” said Vladimir Dinets, a University of Tennessee psychology researcher, who is the study’s lead author.
“They are capable of very unique things when it comes to feeding,” said wildlife biologist Phil Wilkinson of Georgetown, who has spent more than 30 years studying the American alligator.
Also in the Daily Mail.
Guy Whittall, age 40, slept peacefully all night, only inches away from the 330 lb. reptile, and never even noticed his presence. Whittall learned that he had had a roommate when he heard the housemaid’s screams while eating his breakfast in the kitchen.
The really disconcerting thing about the whole episode is the fact that I was sitting on the edge of the bed that morning, bare foot and just centimetres away from the croc.”
An Australian camper was missing and presumed dead after being snatched by a crocodile in front of onlookers as he swam across a river with a friend, police told local media Sunday.
The 24-year-old was swimming with a friend on Saturday afternoon near the Mary River Wilderness Retreat, about 80 miles east of Darwin in the country’s Northern Territory.
The pair swam to the middle of the muddy river and were on their way back when the crocodile lunged, taking the victim below the surface, news site NT News reported.
Saltwater crocodiles, which can grow up to 23 feet long and weigh more than a tonne, are a common feature of Australia’s tropical north, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported.
The local man was celebrating a friend’s 30th birthday at the outback tourist destination, Senior Sergeant Geoff Bahnert told The Associated Press.
“Several of the group in the party witnessed the male being taken in the jaws of the croc for a period of time, and then he was out of sight,” Bahnert said.
“The Mary River is known worldwide to have the greatest saturation of adult saltwater crocodiles in the world. You don’t swim in the Mary River,” he said.
Alcohol may have played a part in the decision to swim, he said.
A 4.4 meter-14 3/4’ (or 4.8 meter—15 3/4’, depending whom you believe) saltwater crocodile which had made a habit of menacing schoolchildren for two years in the vicinity of Palumpa, in the Daly River Reserve of Australia’s Northern Territory, kept up its local reign of terror too long. After a final incident of the big croc preventing children crossing a causeway to attend school, police and council members trapped the beast in a local billabong last week and shot him.
An enterprising crocodile grabs a cape buffalo by the leg, and finds out the hard way why the cape buffalo is regarded by many authorities as very possibly the most dangerous of the Big Five.
Hat tip to Field & Stream.
The Portuguese language news story says:
African toy …... Captured and killed near the border with Angola in Namibia.
Villagers in Bunawan, Philippines last month successfully captured what is believed to be the largest crocodile ever taken alive.
The monster is 21 feet (6.4 m.) long, and weighed in at over a ton (2365 lbs.—1065 kg.). It took more than one hundred men to lift the giant reptile out of the swamp where he was trapped and to get him onto a truck.
The villagers named the crocodile “Lolong” and plan to exhibit him to tourists in a new park built for the purpose. Lolong will be the largest reptile in captivity in the world, so he will probably attract plenty of visitors.
It took about a month, but Lolong resumed eating early in October.
From the Telegraph:
Pictured above is a saltwater crocodile named Brutus, missing his right front leg, who regularly performs for tourists on the Adelaide River, about 100 km (60 miles) south of Darwin.
Adelaide River Cruises specially advertises jumping crocodile cruises, and the crocs (compensated with free meals of buffalo meat) obligingly perform. Brutus is estimated to be 5.5 meters (18’) long.
The photo has made a sensation, and NT News ran it past a number of experts who basically agree that it has not been Photoshopped.
I want to see the bigger one that took off that front leg.