Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
CharonY

Crocodilians use tools for hunting

Recommended Posts

As the title says, a paper just came out in which the use of lures by alligators has been reported.

 

V. Dinets, J.C. Brueggen & J.D. Brueggen , Ethology Ecology &

Evolution (2013): Crocodilians use tools for hunting, Ethology Ecology & Evolution, DOI:

10.1080/03949370.2013.858276

 

The abstract:

 

Using objects as hunting lures is very rare in nature, having been observed in just a handful of species. We report the use of twigs and sticks as bird lures by two crocodilian species. At least one of them uses this method predominantly during the nest-building season of its prey. This is the first known case of a predator not just using objects as lures, but also taking into account the seasonality of prey behavior. It provides a surprising insight into previously unrecognized complexity of archosaurian behavior.

 

 

In a photo within the article an alligator was balancing sticks and similar nestbuilding materials on its head. Now they need to learn how to use beer as a lure...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very interesting. Crocodiles are apparently smarter than they seem, and from this photo, the crocodile also seems to use sticks to camouflage itself as a log.

 

Dinets-et-al-2013-stick-displaying-in-Mu

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have heard two southern african game keepers swapping stories about crocs - and the cunning and disturbingly human way they hunt. It would be interesting and thrilling if they were merely little reptiles - the fact they are 20plus feet long, with wicked teeth, and armoured like a tank adds an frisson of terror

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is the picture from the paper. They use it as a lure (nesting material) and not as camouflage (they are rather log-like while drifting, anyway).

 

Very interesting. Crocodiles are apparently smarter than they seem, and from this photo, the crocodile also seems to use sticks to camouflage itself as a log.

 

Dinets-et-al-2013-stick-displaying-in-Mu

Edited by CharonY

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is the picture from the paper. They use it as a lure (nesting material) and not as camouflage (they are rather log-like while drifting, anyway).

 

 

Dinets-et-al-2013-stick-displaying-in-Mu

 

I'm kinda with ewmon on this one. It makes for a rather more realistic log, the nice grouping of multiple branches, the one on the end just begging to be had. It's both bait and camouflage. happy.png This guy/gal is a true pro. Their forelegs do not look particularly well suited for hat making, do they find a pile of floating debris and just rise up under it? I could see that happening on accident the first couple of times, the gator not really caring about some sticks on it's nose, then some bird just walks up and stands there tilting its head back and forth trying to decide which stick looks the most appealing. . . . . . Then bang!

 

After several repeat events ending with a "to your door dinner delivery" it would seem like an old habit. But do the other gators learn this from older gators or is it instinctual? I'm going with learned. I know it seems a little crazy, but if this location has the environment to maintain a stable multi generational group I can see it as more of a possibility. smile.png

Edited by arc

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you read the abstract (if you cannot access the full article) it appears that there is quite a variance in how they do it, which indicates a somewhat learned behavior. At least one of them appears to have figured out that it only really works during nest building season (thus reinforcing the lure aspect over potential camouflage).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.