Thursday, January 27, 2011

Crocodile and his teeth

I count 32 teeth in this photo. Assuming that the crocodile has the same number of teeth on the other side, that would make 64 teeth to grab, slice into and chew its prey. The extra large fourth upward tooth is distinctive of a crocodile and is a way to distinguish between crocodiles and alligators.

I am relieved that the crocodile did not attack the heron that I showed during the past few days. Fortunately, the crocodiles in the western hemisphere are not as aggressive as the Nile crocodile, but people should keep their distance nevertheless.

When people who rent our condos in Tamarindo ask about activities for their children, I always recommend the nature tours on boats in Palo Verde National Park. I describe it as being similar to the Jungle Cruise at Disney World or Disneyland, except that the animals are real, and the tour guides do not recite a memorized script of corny jokes and puns.

I think it is an enriching, entertaining and educational experience for young people, and for us adults too, to watch wild animals in their native habitat. The people who stay in our condos often tell me that they have enjoyed the excursions and that their children have returned home with enthusiastic stories to tell their friends of seeing crocodiles, monkeys and other animals in the wild.

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