Bites at Animal Planet

26 Dec

Gators and Crocs Use Sticks To Attract Prey, Studies Show

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Watch out for gators and crocs near sticks. (Photo Credit: Debbie Tubridy/TNWA Photography)

As we’ve learned from watching Gator Boys, alligators aren’t animals to mess around with. But while we may fear gators and crocodiles for their physicality, it’s their brains that we should be more afraid of.

Recent studies show both species are patient and quite cunning when looking for prey. It seems that both crocodiles and alligators balance sticks on their snouts near nesting colonies in an attempt to attract birds, according to a story from the Huffington Post and ScienceNOW.

The practice was first observed as an Indian zoo back in 2007. There, a behavioral ecologist named Vladimir Dinets saw crocs balancing sticks near a rookery where egrets look for sticks to build their nests. Once an egret would approach, the crocs would snap and lunge for the bird.

We’re sure Jimmy and Paul would agree that these animals are a lot smarter than we think. Visit the Gator Boys page for more gator goodness, including photos, video and more.

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Welcome to the Bites @ Animal Planet, where you can connect with the people who bring Animal Planet to life. Find out what's in the works here at Animal Planet, share your feedback with the team and see what's getting our attention online and in the news.

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