If you caught the last Let’s Get Wordy post, you probably have a new found appreciation for the flamingo. Now we’re getting a little more dangerous. Maybe it’s the buzzing Hunger Games fever* that’s provoked me to profile an edgier creature today, and as best as I can tell, there are no real muttations out there so we’ll have to settle for the next best thing.
Crocodiles embody nature’s rule of ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’.
Of all the reptiles around today, crocodiles are pretty much the least changed from their Cretaceous period. That means that these guys were so evolutionarily perfect, even 65 million years ago, that they didn’t need any updates or Croc 2.0 technology changes to make it in the modern world. They are near perfect animals, as far as evolution goes.
But why ‘crocodile’?
It all boils down to what we first saw. For those of you who have seen a real life croc in the wild, you know how how difficult it is to actually spot them. (Despite them being upwards of 16 feet long in some species). Crocodiles blend in anywhere – in the water they look like floating logs, and on shore they look like rocky terrain**. It’s terribly unfair for prey, really.
And that’s where their name comes from: the word ‘crocodile’ comes from the Greek ‘kroko’, meaning ‘pebble’ and ‘drilos’, meaning ‘worm’.
So, those 16 feet of raw hunting power, evolutionary perfection and teeth can be summed up to: PEBBLE WORM.
Sort of anti-climactic isn’t it?
* Speaking of the Hunger Games, wasn’t it awesome?! Two thumbs up, says I.
** Serendipitously enough for my post today, Peeta gave a great example of the whole rocky terrain camouflage I’m talking about. And yes I will use any excuse to post a picture of Peeta. (Some also argue that Peeta is also a near perfect creature, but we’ll leave that for another post.)