the dirty dozen (highlights of "the quest for a crocodile dictionary," new york times, 08.24.03)

01 By Anthony Ham
02 "[T]here are also nonvocal forms of 'speaking,' like head slaps on the water, narial geysering (when a crocodile dips its nose beneath the water and spouts water into the air), narial toots, and, yes, blowing bubbles."
03 "Vladimir Dinets of the University of Tennessee has studied American alligators from Texas to South Carolina and described a ritual in which alligators gather to swim in circles 'like an old-fashioned village dance.'"
04 "He has also observed what he calls 'alligator choruses' during the spring mating season in Everglades National Park in Florida."
05 "...said Dr. Dinets, who is not involved in the crocodile dictionary."
06 "Even studying captive crocodiles has its complications: The crocodiles at Australia Zoo kept eating the microphones."
07 Splash Splash A male crocodile makes a narial geyser with his nostrils. Recording by Sonnie Flores/University of the Sunshine Coast.*
08 OY, NY, NY, Aug. 24: "[F]from most of what I have seen animals are not limited by their expressive abilities but more because they have limited things to discuss. Food, mating, danger, competition, and the early plays of Kaufman and Hart."
09 HERMAN, PA, Aug. 24:
"If they can get enough to eat from the remaining
mammals they could be the dominant species
Evolution could eventually get them a more
sophisticated language and they could find
ways to write plays and novels"
10 On Edge, Philadelphia, Aug. 24: "Like possibly 'My Dinner of Andre'?"
11 Linda Fernberg, New York, Aug. 24: "Sounds like peepers (frogs) peeping at the first sign of spring."
12 Cliff, Union City, MI, Aug. 25: "By the way the turtle is pretty good sized with a sharp beak and a head the size of a small dog, that could take off several fingers with one snap. But he seems pretty contented sitting in the guys lap, riding along, seemingly enjoying his notoriety for the day."

*the times and the researchers were too classy to say so, but the sound file embedded beside this [one of three in the article, all of which are vital; the second is the reptilian version of the law and order noise] is unquestionably the sound of a saltwater crocodile, or "saltie," flushing a toilet.

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