Re: AAT Theory

chris brochu (
23 Sep 1995 22:45:41 GMT

In article <43v34a$> pete, VINCENT@REG.TRIUMF.CA
>`Crocodylians aren't necessarily better predators than mammalian
>`carnivores, but they're no worse, and given the population densities of
>`crocodylians, no one would be helped by jumping in the water to avoid
>`land predators.
>So are you saying that they aren't territorial at all, and will
>concentrate to the extent that the food supply allows?

Basically, yes. They do exhibit territorial behavior, especially during
mating season, but some taxa - in particular, the Nile crocodile - will
feed communally. I've seen footage of several large niloticus feeding
from the same zebra or gnu at once. Indeed, the narrator suggested that
cooperation was the only way they could have dismembered it.

A few other points on croc ecology -

1. Crocs defend their nests vigorously. The proposition that people
could control croc population by eating croc eggs must get around this
fact. Australian aborigines will eat croc eggs, but not as a means of
controlling the beasts, and they are careful to do so only when the
mother is not around.

2. Crocs are not restricted to eating prey in the water. I've seen
alligators drag things in from ten feet away.

3. The only semiaquatic mammals that co-exist with them will have one of
two characteristics - either (a) they are very proficient at swimming
quickly, like an otter, or (b) they are very large, like hippos and