A croc of sensationalism

A croc of sensationalism

In gotcha science news, tabloid zoologists claim to have video evidence of a group of crocodiles engaged in hypocritical fruit-eating behavior behind closed doors.

The article was published in the latest issue of Weekly World Journal of Zoology.  The article included a link to the video on their website, showing blurry images of something eating something. (NSFW)   Pro-crocodile advocates dismissed the video as a tawdry attempt to sell more Journals.

One crocodile, caught on film eating kumquats, claimed that he was simply holding the kumquats for a friend. “Hey, man, I’m an obligate carnivore! You won’t catch me eating fruit, even the ‘fleshy’ kind. I ain’t no alligator!”  (Disclaimer: Alligators are the exact same things as crocodiles, no matter what zoologists and crocodiles say.)

When confronted with the videotape, the embarrassed crocodile responded by devouring the reporter’s left leg in an overt display of carnivorism. He then broke down into crocodile tears.

A spokescroc for Crocodiles Anonymous (CA), who requested anonymity because, well, you figure it out, said that a small number of crocodiles had eaten fruit, but dismissed claims that it was a widespread problem.

“A very small proportion of Crocs, maybe 13 out of 18, eat fruit of some sort.  But those are anomalous food items and are not considered in a physiological context!  Stop considering them in a physiological context!”

He said that crocodiles that wanted to kick the fruit eating habit were often given gastroliths as substitutes.  (Gastroliths are stones brought to Earth by Martian dinosaurs to help with grinding food.)  Crocodiles and alligators get a tasty treat from them in the process.  They are also taught coping mechanisms to redirect fruit-eating behavior, such the children’s game Alligator / Watermelon / Intrepid Kitten.*

Crocodilologists warn that adding fruit and plants to the diet could result in the spread of plant genes, as well as seed dispersal.  In extreme cases, fruit consumption has been linked to mutualism.

Independent observers noted that taking a broad look at evidence can reveal some interesting things, but assured the public that idle speculation and cheap, sleazy innuendo would remain vital tools of scientific research.

* Alligator smashes Watermelon, Watermelon crushes Intrepid Kitten, Intrepid Kitten gets eaten by Alligator.  With practice, players learn not to choose Watermelon or Intrepid Kitten, resulting in a lot of ties. The resulting boredom teaches crocodiles to crush watermelons and eat intrepid kittens, rather than the other way around.

(Click on the picture to see the evidence for yourself.)

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