Here Troy, come and get it!

J. Moore (
Wed, 21 Jun 95 18:58:00 -0500

As I mentioned in another post, any account of human evolution *must*
contend with how our ancestors coped with dangerous predators, and
I've promised to post on that subject. In the past, I've posted some
information about how our ancestors likely coped with land-based
predators, and intend to do so again in more detail. But first there's
the subject of aquatic predators, which is given short-shrift by
proponents of the Aquatic Ape Hypothesis. I am presently writing up a
post on that subject, and hope to have it done within a couple of days.
Some of the material in this post will be duplicated then, but with
additional context.

But first there is something to get out of the way, so it doesn't
clutter that post; that is the subject of Troy Kelley's post which I've
quoted below:

Tk> > I guess I should have typed, "you aren't likely to find crocodiles
Tk> > swimming around in the open ocean with sharks" but I didn't. Or I
Tk> > should have said, "you aren't likely to find crocodiles at the
Tk> > beach, but more likely in rivers or streams."
Tk> >
JM> If you had typed any of those things, you would also have been

Tk> OK, Jim, now it is your turn to do a little reserch. So PLEASE do
Tk> me your reference that says "You are very likely to find crocodiles
Tk> swimming around in the open ocean with sharks" and show me how I was
Tk> "wrong". I am eagerly awaiting your reply, because I just really
Tk> when you prove to everyone your expansive knowledge on all matters
Tk> aquatic animal behaviour.

If you'll all remember, Troy had posted some bad info about crocodiles,
namely "I don't think crocodiles like salt water, in fact, I know they
don't live in salt water", and when corrected, he replied with *more*
bad info, namely "The estuarian crocodile lives in ESTUARIES which
are BRACKISH; or mixtures of some salt with but mostly fresh water. If
these crocodiles are exposed to the kinds of salt levels found in the
ocean for a long enough period of time, they will die". Well, he was
corrected once again by several people, and he actually posted an
apology. But in his apology he felt it necessary to add yet more
incorrect information about a subject he quite obviously knows little
if anything about, so I corrected him as quoted above, and got his
somewhat peevish reply.

So this post is an answer to that, providing references for the
corrections I made to his incorrect statements:

Tk> If you do not post any references that say that crocodiles "are
Tk> to be found swimming around in the open ocean with sharks" I will
Tk> that I was right and you were wrong. BTW, I mean crocodiles in
Tk> not one or two species that is swimming across a oceanic area to a
Tk> different habitat. Also, notice I did say OPEN ocean, this means
Tk> away from the shorelines or costal areas, in otherwords in the
Tk> the ocean.

First note that there is no reason to require that the subject be
"corcodiles in general" rather than "one or two species", nor does it
matter *why* they are swimming out in the open ocean (with those
sharks). Troy wants me to prove that crocodiles swim "far away from the
shorelines or coastal areas". Fair enough.

********let the quotes begin**********
References from: 1989 *Crocodiles and Alligators*
Consulting Editor, Charles A. Ross (Museum Specialist, Department of
Vertebrate Zoology, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian
Institution, Washington, D.C., USA) Facts on File: New York and Oxford.

pg. 67:
Nile Crocodile (*Crocodylus niloticus*)
Habitat: Known to occupy a wide variety of freshwater habitats, this
species also frequents coastal areas in West Africa, and in southern
Africa one was spotted nearly 11 kilometers (7 miles) off the Zululand
coast. From time to time crocodiles are washed out from East African
river mouths to the sea; some of these have been able to cross to the
island of Zanzibar [note: Zanzibar is 22 miles off the coast of
Tanganyika, which together form the republic Tanzania] and crocodiles
occasionally found on beaches or river mouths in Kenya.
pg. 68:
Indopacific Crocodile (*Crocodylus porosus*)
Habitat: Commonly encountered in marine habitats, the common names
Estuarine or Saltwater Crocodile are, however, misleading since this
species is often found in freshwater habitats such as large rivers and
Distribution: The most widely distributed of all living crocodilians,
the Indopacific Crocodile is found throughout the tropical regions of
Asia and the Pacific, wherever there is suitable habitat. Its
distribution is still not fully known but recent research suggests that
it is found from the islands of the Indian Ocean, coastal India and Sri
Lanka, through mainland Southeast Asia, the Indonesian and philippine
islands, northern Australia, New Guinea, as far as the Belau Islands and
perhaps Fiji in the Pacific Ocean. The ability of this species to
survive in the open ocean has enabled it to reach, and sometimes
colonize, many small islands such as the Cocos Islands (nearly 1,000
kilometers from land) and the New Hebrides. Stories of these crocodiles
out in the open ocean abound and some individuals have been seen with
pelagic barnacles attached to their scales.
pg. 66:
African Slender-snouted Crocodile (*Crocodylus cataphractus*)
It is known primarily from freshwater habitats but there are records of
it in coastal areas and a single record on Bioko Island, 45 kilometers
(28 miles) off the coast of Cameroon.
*********end of quoted material**********

So we have Nile Crocodiles swimming into the ocean to a distance of
7 miles and 22 miles, African Slender-snouted Crocodiles swimming into
the ocean to a distance of 28 miles, and the champions, of course, the
Indopacific Crocodile (the species which I referred to as the Estuarian
or Saltwater Crocodile, which these experts point out are misleading
names, since it also lives in fresh water) swimming into the ocean to a
distance of over 600 miles. Not to mention "stories of these crocodiles
out in the open ocean abound and some individuals have been seen with
pelagic barnacles attached to their scales."

Gee, I think that qualifies as "far away from the shorelines or coastal
areas", don't you?

Jim Moore (