RESOURCES: Crocodile Den

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Science  06 Jul 2001:
Vol. 293, Issue 5527, pp. 19e
DOI: 10.1126/science.293.5527.19e

Get up close and personal with some large, carnivorous reptiles at Crocodilians: Natural History and Conservation, created by croc specialist Adam Britton of Darwin, Australia. Illustrated with range maps and photos, the site describes the physical characteristics, favorite haunts, and breeding habits of all 23 species of crocodilians. There's also plenty of information on the basic biology, taxonomy, and conservation status of these persecuted species, nearly half of which are endangered.

Some visitors may be persuaded to shed their stereotypes. If you think the aquatic reptiles are nothing but lounge lizards, for instance, check out the film clips of agile crocodiles galloping or leaping from the water almost like a dolphin to snap at a hunk of meat. And unlike most reptiles, croc parents aren't deadbeats. The female guards her nest and gently totes the youngsters around in her mouth. Beat that, soccer moms.

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