[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]

Cooperative hunting in crocodilians

Ben Creisler

A new article and news story that may be of interest:

Vladimir Dinets (2014)
Apparent coordination and collaboration in cooperatively hunting crocodilians.
Ethology Ecology & Evolution (advance online publication)

No abstract but from the text...

By itself, each of the observations presented here is open to
alternative explanations. However, the similarity between some of the
accounts by independent observers is striking, and strongly suggests
that the observers’ interpretation of the animals’ behavior might be
correct. If all these accounts are accurate, it would mean that
coordination and collaboration occur in at least five crocodilian
species representing two different families – the first case of such
ability in reptiles. It would also mean that crocodilians can use more
than one method of coordinated hunting.

The case of the estuarine crocodiles hunting the pig is particularly
interesting, because the chaser was separated from the ambushers by
the trail and could not see them. However, the chaser apparently tried
to drive the pig towards the ambushers instead of attempting to snatch
it, which suggests that it had correctly guessed their positions.

The only way to prove beyond doubt that crocodilians are capable of
such complex behavior is to accumulate more observations. Every such
record is a fortunate event for a field researcher, and should not
remain unpublished.

News story