Alan Dean Foster: Predators I Have Known - Orinoco crocodile

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Crocodiles. Even when someone tries to make them look funny, as in the Disney version of Peter Pan, they still come off as menacing. Nothing looks more like a carnivorous dinosaur than a crocodile. Then there's their demeanor: they just lie around literally like logs, soaking up the sun, until they're ready to assassinate something. Sharks get all the bad press, but on three continents crocodiles kill people every year: Asia, Africa, and that no-so-safe-as-the-tourism-authority-would-like-you-to-believe land, Australia.

No wonder they live a long a time. Except for eating and reproducing, all they do is eat and swim. Sounds like some ex-neighbors of ours.


  1. Was up in Northern Australia fishing when the boat guide kindly pointed out a spot along the bank where someone had been killed recently. He said that the crocs watch people’s habitual behaviours. “Oh that guy wades into the river to fill a tub of water every afternoon at 5. Nyah-Ha-Ha!”

  2. I was fishing in the Northern Territory of Australia when a croc’s nostrils appeared. Local bloke I was with said “We’re done” and started packing up.

    Some tourists showed up and started taking pics from the river crossing. Local bloke regarded them and said “that croc can move faster than you can say ‘oh shit'”

  3. A friend of mine took three months off work to paddle a sea kayak from Cooktown to Cape York. Every day when he looked for a camp site he would walk along the beach looking for crocodile tracks. If any tracks were visible he would get back in the boat and paddle a few K north, then try again.

    I read an interview with a guy who owned a crocodile farm. He pointed out that crocs are smart, but they are not like us. They are reptiles, not mammals. If you keep a horse in your home for ten years it will make friends with you. A croc will spend the whole time calmly waiting for a chance to eat you.

  4. Good juxtaposition between this post and the one about the fearsome koala bear’s mating call. You ever met a koala bear Foster? Vicious finger nails.

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