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Re: CLIMBING CROCS AGAIN



-----Original Message-----
From: darren.naish@port.ac.uk <darren.naish@port.ac.uk>
To: dinosaur@usc.edu <dinosaur@usc.edu>
Cc: darren.naish@port.ac.uk <darren.naish@port.ac.uk>
Date: Wednesday, January 06, 1999 10:48 AM
Subject: CLIMBING CROCS AGAIN


Of course, I unhesitatingly accept what Britton writes about supposed
cases, or lack of, of arboreal habits in crocs. However, I think it
should be pointed out that none of the citations concern the scaling
of bare and/or vertical trunks by crocodiles: rather, the animals
were apparently clambering about on the gently sloping trunks of
trees that had branches. Certainly nothing like what arboreal
monitors can achieve.

I can tell you that I have definitely seen footage of a baby Nile
croc in a tree. The tree was gently sloping to the right and did have
branches interspersed along its length. The croc (a near-hatchling
size baby) was pictured sunning itself on a long horizontal branch.

The problem with all of this and all the other cases cited _is_ that
it is all anecdotal or apocryphal (as are cases of bipedality in
crocs incidentally), and conspicuously absent are reliable accounts
from croc field biologists themselves.

Therefore, that juvenile crocodiles can and do climb is an unverified
assertion presently based on anecdotal evidence.

Boycott Holtz, the evil devourer of anurans:)

The point DR Holtz made is important.  The fact that lion, tigers, and bears
(oh my) climb does not make them arboreal.  However, I'm ASSUMING that Greg
and others make note of the idea that if crocs or their ancestors could
climb, there COULD be selective pressures eventually leading to the
evolution of arboreal animals.

Michael Teuton