View from a Rhino House: don’t look up!

Let’s be honest, when you think about crocodiles & alligators (if you think about them at al), you think of them lumbering around on the ground or lying in wait in the water – not climbing trees. However a University of Tennessee study has found that the beasties can climb trees

The team observed checked on species on 3 continents, Africa, Australia, & North America, & examined earlier studies & anecdotal evidence. They found that there are four species that regularly climb trees, & how close they got to heaven depended on their size. The smaller animals were able to climb higher than the larger ones & some species were observed climbing as far as four metres high in a tree & five metres along a branch.

“Climbing a steep hill or steep branch is mechanically similar, assuming the branch is wide enough to walk on,” the study reported. “Still, the ability to climb vertically is a measure of crocodiles’ spectacular agility on land.”

The beasties seen climbing trees, both at night & during the day, were nervous at being approached, jumping into the water when an approaching observer was no more than10 metres away. (They can jump?)

“The most frequent observations of tree-basking were in areas where there were few places to bask on the ground, implying that the individuals needed alternatives for regulating their body temperature,” the authors wrote. “Likewise, their wary nature suggests that climbing leads to improved site surveillance of potential threats & prey.”

So I guess it’s back to hiding under the bed with a broom handle for protection (they can’t jump on you under the bed, & there’s no point in trying to climb a tree to get away).

Good thing I wore a hat.....

Good thing I wore a hat…..

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3 thoughts on “View from a Rhino House: don’t look up!

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