Think you could just climb a tree to be safe from a croc attack? Think again. A new study on crocodile behaviour has shown they can just walk straight up trees, as well as using twigs balanced on their noses to lure prey to their doom.
"Climbing behaviour is common among crocodilians." reads a new study in Herpetology Notes. The academic publication also includes a picture of a rather massive and smug-looking crocodile perched on a branch in Mississippi.
So yeah, maybe they can just climb low trees or bent over ones, right? Wrong again. Some can climb vertically, on any tree, as long as there are footholds. The only slightly comforting news about this situation is that the bigger a croc gets, the less it is able to climb because of bulk and mass, though this comes with the added note that smaller ones can even "climb vertically up brickwork."
Locking those windows, then.
In other croc-news, they're also apparently learning to use twigs to lure unsuspecting prey. Mugger crocodiles and American alligators use the twigs balanced on their snouts to lure in birds who are looking to build nests; the bird will lean in and try to grab a twig, at which point, the croc will snap. They've also apparently learned to only bother with this trick during the spring nesting season, apparently having monitored bird behaviour and remembered it.
Terrifying or not, you've got to hand it to these crocodilians for being so smart!
Researchers say this kind of behaviour could also shed light on dinosaur behaviour, and that they may have been much smarter than previously thought.
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