"Mahatara: The Supreme God of the Dayaks. He remains aloof from human life
and whenever sacrificial food is put ready for him, he sends
Antang, his falcon, to pick it up and bring it to the High Heavens,
where Mahatara enjoys only the spirit of the sacrifice, the "soul
of the food". Mahatara has seven daughters, the Santang Goddesses.
They descend to earth by turns, seated on golden brooms. On earth,
the Santang Goddesses direct the fate of men: they reward some
and punish others. One of Mahatara's sons is Jata, who has a red face
and a head the shape of a crocodile's. That is why the Dayaks consider
crocodiles to be sacred, and will only kill them when one of their
number has eaten a person. The Dayaks will then search the reptile's
guts for relics of the dead, and when they find a piece of cloth or
other remains they will kill no more crocodiles." - Jan Knappert
Crocodilians are the largest and most intelligent
living reptiles. Crocodiles have have bigger brains than other lizards, but it
is still only the size of a cigar. The word alligator came
from the Spanish word for lizard, "el largato." Say
it five times fast and you may come up with something like alligator.
Mahatara's son had seven sisters who decided the fate of men.
We know that crocodiles actually can learn by observing behavior.
Crocodiles recognize a pattern when animals come to the river
to drink at the same time each day. That is why when on an Amazon River
expedition DO NOT go to the same place at the same time every
day to do your washing. You might end up as a crocodile snack.
If you are ever on the coast Florida, remember not to swim at
dusk when alligators are feeding, or on summer nights when they
are most active. And keep your pets away from the water!
Fortunately, crocodiles are hungry only once every two weeks or
so. Crocodile attacks are the second biggest animal danger to
people in Africa, next to the hippo.
Speaking of Snacks...
Crocs eat rocks! All crocodilians swallow stones sometimes to
help in digestion and add weight so that it can stay underwater.
Crocodiles can remain submerged for as long as an hour. The average
croc has 10 to 15 pounds of stone in its stomach; but, for such
large creatures, they really eat very little and not very often.
Because they are slow moving and cold blooded, they are able to
survive on about the same amount of food as a small bird.
A crocodile will attack just about anything that goes near the
water, but sticks to eating fish most of the time, with occasional
turtles, small animals and birds. They also enjoy tasty raccoons,
muskrats and even capybara, the most popular treat of the South
Nile crocodiles cooperate in food gathering by forming a dam with
their bodies to catch fish. They take turns with larger prey:
one holds the victim down while the other one rips it apart.
Crocodilians have community nurseries where one mother watches
over the hatchlings of many. The way crocodilians live and work as
members of a group is one
sign of their unique intelligence. Their survival as a species
since the age of dinosaurs is another proof of perfect adaptation
to their environment.
Cold Blood, Warm Heart
Baby between eggs speaks. Just click!
Like other reptiles all of which are cold-blooded, alligators
and other crocodilians lay eggs. Alligators build their nests
above the ground (like that at left) and crocodiles build theirs below.
Crocodilians may be cold blooded but not completely
Mother crocodilians guard their nests and protect
their young until they are big enough
to survive on their own, or for 2 to 3 years. They teach their
babies to swim much like mother ducks. Crocodilian moms carry
their babies around in their mouths to protect them from harm.
Even with their careful mothers, only about one out of every ten
crocodilian hatchlings make it to adulthood. Baby crocodilians
are easy prey for many other animals, from birds of prey to ferrets
and other reptiles.
Dino Days-Crocs Rule |
Crocodile Smiles |
Smart ReptilesSmart Reptiles |
The Gharial and the Monkey |
A Crocodile Hunter |
Cinderella Crocodile |