Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Science Update: Crocodiles have reason to cry

Know what kills a crocodile? Besides the obvious blunt instrument. Fat! And they're not having heart attacks or strokes either. Nile crocodiles are dying in the Olifants River, (South Africa) sometimes at a rate of 20 per week. Scientists  found "some kind of pansteatitis--an inflammation of adipose tissue" was killing the animals. Adipose tissue is fat, and somthing is causing it to build up in crocodiles' tails. To the extent that the tail becomes so stiff and swollen that the animals can't move. A cause has not been identified, and they are trying to find out if other creatures are effected. And I just found out that I can feel sorry for crocodiles.

Crocodiles are dying in the wierdest way.  Hunting a Croc Killer.
Author Lubick, Naomi

Source:Scientific American; Oct 2009, Vol. 301 Issue 4, p25-25, 1p, 1 color

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