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Crocodilian images which reveal fascinating stories told from a visual perspective.


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Surprise!

Saltwater crocodile hatching from egg

April's Pic of the Month has an Easter theme, but while saltwater crocodile eggs may look like they're made from white chocolate, their contents can bite back! This hatchling Crocodylus porosus was photographed about 5 minutes after he pierced the eggshell from inside. If you look very carefully you can see the tiny egg-tooth at the tip of his nose, just in front of the nostrils (it looks like a small, white mark). Once the snout is through, the crocodile starts to breathe air for the first time in its short existence - typically around two and a half months after the female deposited her eggs in the nest. A crocodile may stay in this "pipped" position from several seconds to several hours before finally pushing its way out using the coiled tail and wriggling its body. Covered in glistening fluid, the hatchling's skin is incredibly soft, yet its teeth are sharp! While its yolk reserves will sustain it for several weeks, it is ready to swim immediately and hunt within a few hours. In the wild, however, this is the most vulnerable time for the crocodile and finding safety in numbers or shelter is a priority. In the wild, it is the female who assists the hatchlings out of the nest and protects them for several weeks in a creche.


Would you like to enter your best photograph into the 2002 competition? Send me a photograph and I'll include the best here each month. The winner will be voted for in January 2003, and will receive an Ilfochrome print prize to be awarded in early 2003. The only criteria for submitting a photograph is this: it must capture the attention.


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