Dino Days: Crocs Rule
"The Toraja of central Sulawesi believe that the crocodile may be an ancestor
and address him as "grandfather." They say that crocodiles do no harm to
anyone, except when Poe Mpalaburu (Vishnu, the Maintainer of Creation)
commands a crocodile to kill a certain person. Certain wicked men, they
relate, can reincarnate into crocodiles in order to settle an old score with
their enemies." - Jan Knappert
Alligator farms are popular tourist attractions
Crocodilians (alligators, crocodiles and gharials) are the direct
descendants of the archosaurs, which up until 65 million years ago
ruled the reptile kingdom with their superior intelligence.
Crocodilians are the most intelligent reptiles today.
We often say that dinosaurs are extinct, but what they really
are is prehistoric. They were long gone before man ever appeared.
"Extinct" refers to animals which have lived in human
times, but who no longer exist, often because they were killed
off for their fur, skin, or some other valuable part. Their habitats
are invaded by people who clear land for their farms and homes
or disrupted by commercial activities, like fishing, drilling
for oil or by factories which pollute.
Extinct animals include the dodo, the Tasmanian wolf, the
great auk and the passenger pigeon. They are gone forever because
they were hunted or robbed of the only habitat in which they were
able to survive. Watch for other rare and endangered animals in
The Crocodile Files.
"Why are Crocodilians an endangered species? Over 20 million crocodiles
have been killed in the last fifty years for their skin. People are
encroaching in crocodile populated areas all over the world.
What can people do to protect the world's crocodile population?
Alligator farms are popular tourist attractions in the Southeastern
United States. In some countries, like in Columbia and Australia
(where the "domestic" herd of saltwater crocs pictured here is
located), crocodilians are "farmed" or raised to become boots,
shoes, belts, and wallets. Farming protects crocodile cousins in
The Centre for Herpetology, "Croc Bank," near Madras, India has
conducted a sucessful breeding program which has ensured the
survival of the mugger, gharial and saltwater crocodiles into
the next century. They are planning a visitor center with a large
underwater viewing area for the adult gharial and enclosures for
other exotic reptiles.
Australian Crocodile expert Steve Irwin gently removes
crocodiles from people-infested areas and relocates them to new
habitats. Known as the "Crocodile Hunter," his important
work has contributed greatly to our knowledge of crocodile habitats.
Steve and his wife Terri are the owners of the Glasshouse Mountain
park near Beerwah in Queensland, Australia where many varieties
of crocodiles and other reptiles can be seen.
Dino Days-Crocs Rule |
Crocodile Smiles |
Smart Reptiles |
The Gharial and the Monkey |
A Crocodile Hunter |
Cinderella Crocodile |