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croc picture making the rounds

        Ladies and Gentlemen,

        At last count, I've received about fifteen copies of a gruesome
photograph showing the remains of an unlucky human being pulled from a
crocodile abdomen.  It comes along with a story about a golfer disappearing
from a Florida golfcourse. It's been making the digital rounds for several

        The photograph is authentic, but the story is a complete
fabrication.  The croc in the picture is a saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus
porosus), and the picture was taken either in Western Australia or Sarawak
four or five years ago.  Someone apparently scanned the picture in, and
somewhere along the line the golf course story was tacked on.

        There are true crocodiles (American crocodile, C. acutus) in
Florida, but they occur almost exclusively in coastal areas in the state
and have not been recorded from a golf course.  American alligators do
occur in water hazards, sometimes with numbers, but almost never attack
adult humans without provocation.

        As an aside - this is one reason why crocs are better than
dinosaurs.  We have to rely on special effects people to make us see a
nonavian dinosaur killing and eating someone.  Saltwater crocs do it all
the time.


Christopher Brochu

Postdoctoral Research Scientist
Department of Geology
Field Museum of Natural History
Lake Shore Drive at Roosevelt Road
Chicago, IL  60605  USA

phone:  312-922-9410, ext. 469
fax:  312-922-9566