A romp in the swamp is caused by low-flying helicopters!
The owner, John Lever, of the Koorana Crocodile Farm, located just outside Rockhampton, manages a sizeable collection of over 3,000 crocodiles. He possesses a natural knack for discerning the signs of impending romance among them.
He stated, “The crocodiles start vocalising to each other. They don’t have a very sophisticated voice box, but they vibrate their windpipes to send messages through the water.”
The deed itself lacks any romantic flair, as it involves the bull submerging and grasping the female to align their cloacae. This is the openings that serve as the junction for their intestinal, urinary, and genital tracts, before initiating the reproductive process.
Although the mating process is short, it creates longterm profit for any crocodile farm owner!
Thunderstorms are an aphrodisiac for a croc according to Mr Lever.
It’s an alluring love elixir spread across the vast expanse of the sky, but there’s something even more sexually arousing than the dazzling spectacle of a fierce electrical storm: Chinook helicopters!
The Singapore Armed Forces frequently conduct joint military training exercises at the Shoalwater Bay Training Area. This is situated approximately 100 kilometers north of Rockhampton. During these operations, their pilots often use the crocodile farm as a reference point for mid-flight course adjustments.
Mr Lever stated that “We had a big Chinook that came down low because the guys wanted to take some pictures of the crocodiles,” he continued “They were hanging out the door… and of course, Chinooks have got a big thump, thump, thump, like that.”
Following this action, the big male crocs started bellowing at the sky and immediately after, they all starting mating.
Reason: The Chinook Factor
Male crocodiles might misinterpret the sound of a helicopter as a rival bull, causing them to hurry to secure their reproductive success before this imagined competitor can act upon its amorous intentions.
According to John Lever, it could be generating a subtle, low-frequency ‘thump, thump’ upon entering the water. This may coincidentally resemble some of the sounds emitted by large male crocodiles to assert their territory.
Lever and his team are still uncertain about the purpose and meaning of these sounds.
The current theory is that they employ these deep, resonating calls. Which involves vibrating their entire body and creating the distinctive water ripples one might observe in videos.
There is also another factor which may be responsible for these actions. This may be that this passionate response of these cold-blooded lovers to thunderstorms appears quite reasonable, as it aligns with the fact that their mating season typically corresponds to the North Queensland wet season.
In conclusion, in the heart of the Koorana Crocodile Farm, where over 3,000 crocodiles dwell, a curious and intriguing phenomenon unfolds. Owner John Lever possesses an innate ability to recognize the subtle signs of impending romance among these ancient reptiles. As crocodiles begin their courting rituals, their early vocalizations echo through the water. This is a testament to their unconventional means of communication.
In the heart of this crocodile haven, where the sky’s thunderous roar and the aerial ballet of helicopters intersect with the primal instincts of these ancient reptiles, a unique story of love, competition, and mystery unfolds. A testament to the endlessly fascinating intricacies of the natural world.
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