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Crocodiles utilize sticks as a means of baiting birds

By Jessica Rae Pulver-Adell,

Crocodiles have been observed utilizing sticks as hunting tools to lure birds to land on their snouts. Researchers from the University of Tennessee have been studying how crocodiles use tools in their hunting habits. Vladimir Dinets, a research professor, first began his observations in 2007 in India. Dinets returned to America to study the crocodiles of Louisiana to back up his early findings.

Researchers findings confirm that two crocodilian species including the American and mugger alligators exhibit the baiting behavior, reports Natural World News.

Allegedly, the reptiles collect sticks on their snouts and lie in wait for their prey to land, before lounging at the startled birds, according to CNN.

Dinets has been working on the study from the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park in Florida.

"These discoveries are interesting not just because they show how easy it is to underestimate the intelligence of even relatively familiar animals, but also because crocodilians are a sister taxon of Dinosaurs and flying reptiles," he said in a statement to Science Daily.

Crocodiles are the first documented reptiles to utilize a tool in hunting, according to the Ethology, Ecology and Evolution journal.

Image: Wikimedia Commons

 
 

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