Crocodiles And Alligators Use Tools

Dinets-et-al-2013-stick-displaying-in-Mugger-crocodile-600-px-tiny-Nov-2013-Darren-Naish-Tetrapod-ZoologyToday it’s sticks. Tomorrow? Well… let’s just say I’d throw away any alligator belts or boots you may have in your closet.

Via Scientific American:

As described by Dinets et al. (2013), Mugger crocodiles Crocodylus palustris in India and American alligators Alligator mississippiensis in the USA have both been observed to lie, partially submerged, beneath egret and heron colonies with sticks balanced across their snouts. Birds approach to collect the sticks for use in nest building and… well, let’s just say that it doesn’t end well for the birds. If the crocodylians really are using the sticks as bait to attract their bird prey, this is tool use, since the sticks are objects that are being employed for a specific function.

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1 Comment on "Crocodiles And Alligators Use Tools"

  1. InfvoCuernos | Dec 2, 2013 at 3:32 pm |

    Pretty loose definition of tool use. Let me know when they start tying knots.

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