PIC OF THE MONTH


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



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Lost in Thought

Saltwater crocodile reflecting on...?

They say crocodiles have small brains. Indeed they do, but crocs are not simple-minded. They display complex social behaviour, including communication, cooperation and parental care, and they are extremely good at learning. These are not stupid animals. Interestingly, recent research has suggested that crocodilian brains have a much higher capacity for learning than their relatively small size suggests - certainly in keeping with the behaviour we see them exhibit.

While no crocodile is going to start thinking about the problems of relativity, it's often diverting to imagine just what they might be thinking. Are their thoughts devoid of anything but simple response to situations, do they exhibit some kind of "thought process" which we can relate to ("FOOD! Must eat, now!"), or are we underestimating them? I doubt we will ever have the answers to these questions, but we can always anthropomorphise! Indeed, the crocodile in this month's Pic of the Month certainly seems to be reflecting upon something. Perhaps it's the beginning of the year 2000, although I doubt we are at such an early stage in the crocodilian calander - a group of creatures which have been around for perhaps 240 million years. As we look forward to a new millennium, perhaps we should take a few moments to look back at those creatures which have been here before us. It is clear that humans and crocodiles will always have the potential to come into conflict, but how are we to solve these problems? Perhaps ironically, we cannot ignore people if we wish to save crocodiles. The linkage between humans and the wildlife they have the power to protect (or destroy) is something we are finally starting to appreciate.

Here's to another 240 million years, for both of us.


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