Sunday December 21, 2014
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Which news report? This one:
"Crocodiles are some of the most feared predators in Africa, ruthless reptiles renowned for tearing their prey to pieces before swallowing hunks of meat raw."
"Yep," I said to myself, "that's a croc all right."
I meant the comment, not the animal.
a. Crocs do not "tear their prey to pieces."
b. Crocs have a more effective way of killing their prey including animals as large and ferocious as tigers, lions, and African buffaloes.
How? A croc waits until an animal puts its snout into the water to drink. Then it snaps its viselike jaws over that very tender snout, hauls the helpless animal into the water, and drowns it. It will drown you too if you stick some portion of your anatomy into or just above the water of a river or lake over in the Dark Continent. This is why it is NOT a good idea to use waterways as a handy...uh...shall we say...um-m-m-m..."dumping place?"
c. Crocs, after NOT having torn their victims to pieces, then proceed to NOT eat them. They put them somewhere handy, sometimes in an underwater cave, sometimes under some leaves and branches along the shore, and let them putrefy for some time, often as much as two weeks. Crocs do not like fresh meat. They like their meat when it a soft and ripe because they do not have much to chew with. Too bite with? Yes. Clamp down with? Definitely! But rip and tear? Uh-uh!
d. Crocs do not "tear their prey to pieces" because they can't. Since they feed by grabbing and holding onto their prey, they have evolved sharp round teeth for piercing and holding onto flesh, and powerful muscles to close the jaws and hold them shut. The teeth are not well-suited to tearing flesh off of large prey. Combined with the exceptionally high bite force, the flesh would easily cut through if they had slicing teeth; thus creating an escape opportunity for the prey item.
The feeding behavior of crocs has been common knowledge for a long, long time.
Accuracy in reporting is more important than scary details, don't you agree?
My question would be, "How can some supposedly expert, or well informed, newsman or newswoman make such an uninformed comment as that. It's fine for you or me to not know what we are talking about when we talk to each other. We're just ordinary people, who know what ordinary people know, which is mainly about things close to us. But when someone starts out to inform people of the facts, or to convince them of something shouldn't that person have his or facts straight?"
Doesn't a reader deserve that much?
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