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Posts Tagged "crocodiles"

Extinction Countdown

New Crocodile Species Discovered in West Africa

slender-snouted crocodile

Studying crocodiles in some of the world’s most remote and inaccessible places isn’t easy, but it’s all in a day’s work for researcher Matthew Shirley. It is also, as he says, a “crazy amount of fun”—even on the days when catching and studying crocodiles leaves him covered in his own blood. “I love cruising through [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Sunday Species Snapshot: Cuban Crocodile

cuban crocodile

These small, aggressive crocodiles once dominated their habitats. That is no longer the case. Species name: Cuban crocodile (Crocodylus rhombifer) Where found: The Cuban crocodile once existed on quite a few Caribbean islands. Today it can only be found in two small areas of Cuba: Zapata Swamp on mainland Cuba and Lanier Swamp on the [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Pygmy Elephants, Asiatic Lions and Other Links from the Brink

pygmy elephant baby

Pygmy elephants, Asiatic lions and Siamese crocodiles are among the endangered species in the news this week. Pygmy elephant update: Remember the 14 pygmy elephants (Elephas maximus borneensis) that were poisoned in Borneo back in February? There’s both good and bad news about the case. The good news is that Baby Joe, the youngster that [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Last Wild Siamese Crocodile in Vietnam Found Strangled to Death [Updated]

siamese crocodile

The body of the last wild Siamese crocodile (Crocodylus siamensis) in Vietnam was found floating in Ea Lam Lake on September 29. The 3.2-meter-long, 100-kilogram female had been strangled by two steel wires, possibly by hunters. She was estimated to be nearly 100 years old. Once present throughout Southeast Asia, critically endangered Siamese crocodiles have [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Rare Success: Critically Endangered Gharial Crocodiles Have Record Hatching Year

gharial

This week’s blackouts in India have been blamed at least in part on the lack of rain during the annual monsoon season, which hindered hydropower production and increased the demand for electricity for use in agricultural irrigation. But the unusually dry year has also had at least one positive effect: it has helped to boost [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Central American crocodile recovers and crawls off endangered species list

crocodile

Sometimes conservation plans work so well that once-endangered species no longer need protection. That’s the case in Central America, where the Morelet’s crocodile (Crocodylus moreletii) has recovered enough that many of the protections put in place decades ago to help it are now on the verge of being lifted. Once heavily hunted for their skin, [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

‘Shanklin croc’ and the dawn of the tethysuchian radiation

The three crocodylomorph groups originally assembled in the 'longirostrine clade' by Clark (in Benton & Clark 1988). Thalattosuchia includes two group: teleosaurids and metriorhynchoids.

Hey, Darren, how’s it going with that plan to discuss all the fossil crocodylomorph groups? Huh? Well, ha ha, it ain’t going so well… goddam life getting in the way of my blogging. But the publication of a new technical paper, co-authored by myself and colleagues and led by marine crocodylomorph guru Mark Young, gives [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

For the love of crocodylomorphs

Brilliant life restoration of the recently described Cretaceous baurusuchid Aplestosuchus (with another crocodylomorph - a sphegesaurid - in its mouth), by Rodolfo Nogueira.

Crocodiles, alligators and gharials are the modern members of a far grander, far more diverse clade of archosaurian reptiles termed Crocodylomorpha. It’s gradually becoming better known that, in additional to including amphibious, long-skulled taxa like the living ones, the group encompasses an incredible array of terrestrial and semi-terrestrial omnivores, herbivores, carnivores and insectivores. Some had [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

The New World crocodile assemblage: crocodiles part VII – last in series!

American-crocodile

A momentous thing is about to happen. Take a deep breath and prepare yourself. Today is the day when… I finish my series of articles on the crocodiles of the world. As you’ll recall if you read the previous six parts of this series (all of which are linked to below), I’ve managed so far [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

Tool use in crocodylians: crocodiles and alligators use sticks as lures to attract waterbirds

Mugger crocodile (Crocodylus palustris) at Madras Crocodile Bank, Tamil Nadu, India, with sticks on its head. What's going on here? Read on. Photo by Vladinir Dinets, from Dinets et al. (2013). Used with permission.

In recent years it has – I really, really hope – become better known that non-bird reptiles (turtles, lizards, snakes, crocodiles, alligators and so on) are not boring dullards, but behaviourally complex creatures that get up to all sorts of interesting things. Play behaviour, complex social interactions, gaze recognition, pair-bonding and monogamy, social hunting, speedy [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

Crocopocalypse exposed in public for the first time!

Tet Zoo regulars will remember the detailed montage I’ve produced that hopefully gives some idea of crocodylomorph diversity (Crocodylomorpha = the archosaur clade that includes modern crocodylians and all taxa closer to them than to croc-branch members of Archosauria like the aetosaurs and rauisuchians. Crocodylomorpha is basically equivalent to ‘Crocodilia’ of tradition; most members of [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

Crocodiles of Africa, crocodiles of the Mediterranean, crocodiles of the Atlantic (crocodiles part VI)

The Tet Zoo crocodile series is not yet finished, and here we embark on part VI in the series (see below for links to previous parts). This time, we come to the Nile crocodile lineage, and I refer here to a ‘lineage’ rather than to a species since there’s now good evidence that C. niloticus [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

Crocodiles attack elephants

Way back in November 2010 a remarkable photo appeared online, showing an adult Nile crocodile Crocodylus niloticus biting the trunk of an adult female African bush elephant Loxodonta africana (a plague upon those bloggers and others who identified the crocodylian as an… alligator. Duh). You’ve almost certainly seen the photo already: it was widely features [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

Tet Zoo Christmassy wishes, 2012

I knocked this up in a hurry yesterday but I think it’s good enough to share publicly. The pristichampsine is meant to be trotting along at speed, and that explains why its hat is falling off. Have a great Christmas and New Year – here’s to 2013. 2012 was a crazy year for me (annual [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

Awesome sea-going crocodyliforms of the Mesozoic

The Mesozoic was not a ‘dinosaurs-only theme park’. Numerous other tetrapod lineages were around as well, and there was enough ‘ecospace’ for members of at least some of these groups to evolve giant size and macropredatory lifestyles, and even to dominate certain sections of the Mesozoic world. It’s well known in particular that this was [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

In pursuit of Early Cretaceous crocodyliforms in southern England (part II): of Vectisuchus and Leiokarinosuchus, Bernissartia and the hylaeochampsids

In the previous article we looked at Wealden goniopholidids, focusing in particular on the new taxa named by Steve Salisbury and myself in the review of Wealden crocodyliforms we published last year (Salisbury & Naish 2011). Having gotten some of the relevant taxa out of the way, we now need to crack on and get [...]

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