What's worse than snakes on a plane or sharks in a tornado? Real-life crocodiles in trees. Scientists recently observed four species of crocodile climbing trees and lounging on the branches.
Although people around the world have observed and photographed the arboreal abilities of many types of crocodile and alligator, herpetologists hadn't studied the behavior much. Now, recent research documented tree-climbing Australian freshwater crocodiles, American crocodiles, Central African slender-snouted crocodiles and Nile crocodiles. The paper also presented anecdotal reports of many other croc species taking to the trees.
Photos: Animals From Another Time
The crocs weren't just clambering onto easily reached low branches. The animals could climb vertical trunks. Some climbed all the way to the trees' crown.
Most of the tree-borne crocs were young and still relatively small. Most of the arboreal crocs were two meters (6.5 feet) or less in length. The animals may have been climbing the trees to bask in the sun, since the areas where the animals were observed in trees often lacked other suitable sun bathing locations, noted the study's authors.