Thursday, July 13, 2006

Crocodiles (cocodrilos) in Melaque

For the last month, maybe two, we've been having a night visitor that leaves tracks like those below. We knew it was a crocodile because we see them in the lagoon all the time. What we didn't know was she had laid her eggs a few months earlier and was now checking on the progress every night. In the meantime we put up a fence across the back of the yard to keep her out.

So last night she must have heard them 'croaking' and pushed her way under the side fence to dig them up. I found the hole in the morning with lots of egg shells scattered around so maybe a number of them made it to the lagoon last night. While standing next to the hole I heard some 'croaking' (or chirping) and thought there might be more. We dug up seven and that's them in the bucket. I used gloves to not be nipped and didn't want to leave a human smell.

We decided to put them down on the edge of the lagoon and let mom come and find them - and she did. I checked an hour later and she was there but swam out 50 yards or so because I was there. Our Mexican neighbor says mom will stay with them for about 15 days and then they are on their own.

Crocodylus acutus -- is the type in La Manzanilla so we assume ours are the same

Baby Crock's Chirping Sound -- The sound I heard from the nest (a WAV file)

Tail and foot tracks across the yard

Mom's entry/exit tracks from weeks ago

The nest she dug up the night before

I think that's seven of them in the bucket

babies down by the edge of the lagoon

Mom just off shore waiting for us to go away

Four weeks later one of the babies - about a meter long
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