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Re: My Gr. 9 Science Fair Project: Questions

Stephen Throop wrote:

>Suppose a giant croc was in ambush at the water's edge when he heard a
>three-ton duckbill running toward him.  Wouldn't discretion be the
>better part of valor?  After all, a croc killed by accident would still
>be dead.

A 12 metre croc weighting in excess of 6 tonnes would just love a three
tonne duckbill for dinner.

>In movies, crocs swim long distances toward human swimmers.  Is that
>accurate?  GS Paul said, "Reptiles cannot aerobically sustain speeds
>over 1-2 km/h no matter how toasty warm they may be."  If they're that
>slow on land, it sounds as if a croc in the water would be pretty slow
>once its anaerobic energy ran out.

Don't below everything you see in the movies. Usually crocs will attack by
waiting in ambush. If they swim towards prey, they tend to do this under
watere where they can't be seen. Also, a croc can cover a substancial
distance before its 'anaerobic energy runs out'. Crocs can be lightning
fast in water and on lan for that matter, not for huge periods of time, but
often long enough to get the job done.

>If duckbills were as smart as crows, I think they'd be familiar with the
>haunts and habits of local crocs, be vigilant, and pass warnings.

Codswallop. If humans (some being smarter than crows) can be taken by
crocs, why not hadrosaurs?  Zebra, wildebeast and buffalo live with the
nile crocodile and regularly form part of its diet.

>Don't crows drive hawks and owls from an area by harassment?  Couldn't
>duckbills  also have used commotion and tooting to encourage big crocs
>to relocate?

Again, this doesn't seem to be the case with many modern prey items of
modern crocodiles.

>Have horses and goats been known to kill snakes on sight?  Humans, dogs,
>and cats seem to have that impulse.  If duckbills instinctively stamped
>on small crocs, that would eventually reduce the chances of meeting a
>big, hungry one.

Don't you think you could be over interpreting the evidence a bit here?

>I think edmontosaurs may have known how to be pretty secure in the

Yes, avoid it.

Cheers, Paul

Dr Paul M.A. Willis
Consulting Vertebrate Palaeontologist
Quinkana Pty Ltd