<< Previous Next >>

Talking about ........

Talking about ........
Photo Information
Copyright: Peter van Zoest (PeterZ) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-08-14
Categories: Reptiles
Camera: Nikon D300, AF Nikkor 70-300mm f4-5.6 G, Digital RAW
Exposure: f/14.0, 1/800 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2009-05-31 8:49
Viewed: 6044
Points: 68
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Hello friends, back to Ethiopia.
What are these crocodiles talking about?
This photo is taken at Lake Chamo near Arba Minch from our boat which was a little bit larger than the crocodiles, about 8 metre!

Although the juveniles are generally restricted to eating small aquatic invertebrates and insects, they soon move onto larger vertebrates (fish, amphibians and reptiles). Adults, however, can potentially take a wide range of large vertebrates, including antelope, buffalo, young hippos, and large cats. Fish and smaller vertebrates often form the greatest part of their diet, however. As with C. porosus, they have a reputation as being man-eaters, although probably kill more people than all other crocodilian species combined. Along with hippos and lions, crocodiles account for perhaps a few hundred deaths and disappearances each year, although exact figures are very hard to verify. Nile crocodiles will also often scavenge from carcasses, together with a number of other animals, all of which seem to tolerate each others' presence. They have a rather well-known relationship with several species of birds (e.g. spur-wing plover, called "trochilus" by Herodotus) which are reputed to pick pieces of meat from between the teeth of the crocodiles as they gape - the birds gain a meal, the crocodiles have their teeth cleaned of scraps they could not eat themselves. Whether such a mutual relationship actually exists is hard to determine from the literature and anecdotal reports, but seems more likely to be opportunistic rather than symbiotic.

Several prey animals have been found wedged under submerged branches and stones, leading to reports that the crocodiles store unwanted prey here until a later date. Some claim that it is necessary for the prey to decompose before the crocodiles are able to tear portions of flesh off, but this is unlikely to be true. The flesh may become softer if the prey remains in water after death, but crocodiles will certainly avoid rotting meat. When feeding, a number of individuals will hold onto a carcass with their powerful jaws whilst twisting their bodies. The anchorage provided by the other individuals allows large chunks to be torn off for easier swallowing. A few lone individuals have been reported to wedge prey between branches in order to provide the anchorage necessary for such actions to be effective, which could even be claimed to be a form of primitive tool use.

Other cooperative feeding behaviour has been reported, such as the action of many animals to cordon off an area of water to concentrate fish within. A hierarchy of feeding order is often observed in such situations, with more dominant animals feeding first. Groups of crocodiles will often move onto land to scavenge from kills made up to several hundred metres from the water. Adults have also been observed fishing using their bodies and tails to corral the fish towards the bank where they are concentrated and picked up with a sideways snatch of the jaws. Social behaviour in Nile crocodiles is often underestimated, although there are many aspects still poorly understood.

It has been observed that social status may influence an individual's feeding success, with less dominant animals tending to eat less in situations where they come into frequent social contact with other, more dominant individuals.

This species digs hole nests up to 50cm deep in sandy banks, several metres from the water. These may be in close proximity to other nests. Timing of nesting behaviour varies with geographic location - it takes place during the dry season in the north, but at the start of the rainy season further south, usually from November through to the end of December. Females reach sexual maturity around 2.6 m, males at around 3.1 m. Females lay around 40 to 60 eggs in the nest, although this number is quite variable between different populations. Females remain near the nest at all times. Incubation time averages 80 to 90 days (ranges from 70 to 100 days), after which females open the nest and carry the juveniles to the water. Both males and females have been reported to assist hatching by gently cracking open eggs between their tongue and upper palate. Hatchlings remain close to the juveniles for up to two years after hatching, often forming a creche with other females. As with many crocodilians, older juveniles tend to stay away from older, more territorial animals.

Despite the vigilance of the female during the incubation period, a high percentage of nests are raided by a variety of animals, from hyaenas and monitor lizards to humans. This predation usually occurs when the female is forced to leave the nest temporarily in order to thermoregulate by cooling off in the water.

cicindela, maurydv, goldyrs, zetu, nglen, efsus, jconceicao, boreocypriensis, cirano, jaycee, anel, MMM, eqshannon, valy67, Dis. Ac., Noisette, ramthakur, red45, Alex99, CeltickRanger, Argus, Luis52, SelenE, Hormon_Manyer, vanderschelden, rousettus, bartove has marked this note useful
Only registered TrekNature members may rate photo notes.
Add Critique [Critiquing Guidelines] 
Only registered TrekNature members may write critiques.
You must be logged in to start a discussion.

Critiques [Translate]

Hello Peter,
a fantastic and impressive picture of these crocodiles taken from a good POV with fine details, very beautiful natural colours, well composed.
Best regards

Hehehe! Very funny title Peter! These crocodiles look like during a true conversation :)
It is rather "strange" object as for you, but it is really nice to see a little different photo :)
Very informative note :)
TFS and have a nice evening!

This must've been beautiful and scary!
A superb shot, Peter!

  • Great 
  • Mana Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1772 W: 36 N: 5597] (18598)
  • [2009-05-31 10:29]

Hi Peter,
Great action moment captured and those huge mouths look so scary. But I would have liked to see the entire scene....would have given the shot a different dimension. Anyway, a superb image. Kudos.

Peter merhaba,bunların hepsini bir arada ben görsem kaçacağımdam eminim.Seni cesaretinden dolayı öncelikle kutlarım.Ellerine sağlık :)

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2009-05-31 11:34]

Hi Peter. Thanks for the interesting notes . The one on the right is huge. You were abe to get a good close up with your 300 mm lens. i like the pose from them with their mouth wide open. All with good detail and natural colours. well done TFS.

Hello Peter,

Fantastic capture.
Colours light and definition are excellent.
Good notes.

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2009-05-31 12:14]

Hi Peter,maybe they talk about the food...ehehe...a very impressive pic taken in the best moment as possible.I can't believe that this pic sleep a year in your hard disk,this great spectacle must to be show immediatly!!My best compliments,have a nice week,Luciano.

Hi MF Peter, excellent timing that you capture this beautiful image and wonderful title:) i think they are talking about how we can obtain a huge meal:)
TFS and have a nice new week MF!

  • Great 
  • cirano Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 997 W: 0 N: 944] (13609)
  • [2009-05-31 12:47]

Hello Peter,
This very scary but nice composition.Excellent capture.

  • Great 
  • efsus Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 415 W: 11 N: 843] (3947)
  • [2009-05-31 13:19]

Merhaba Değerli Dostum Peter!
Bu ürkütücü hayvanlara bu kadar yaklaşıp, böylesi detaylı foto çekmek gerçekten yürek ister. Kestrel çalışmamı favori fotolarınız arasına almanız büyük onur benim için. Çok teşekkürler.


  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2009-05-31 16:28]

Hi Peter,

This was a perfect photo op. The trio of crocodiles all with their mouths wide opened is fantastic. Excellent details of their skin, teeth, and all the way down their throats. A great shot and I'm glad they were too busy to bother your boat.


Hi Peter,
I've seen a few crocodiles in my time,but these ones look like absolute monsters!
That one on the right looks SO fat!
These must have been nearly as big as your 8 metre boat.

An amazing shot.
Cheers & TFS

  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2009-06-01 4:43]

Hello Peter,
What an animated conversation! But I would avoid to be there and give my opinion too:-)
Interesting and original shot. Well seen.
Have a nice afternon

  • Great 
  • MMM Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1114 W: 0 N: 2546] (11425)
  • [2009-06-01 6:05]

Hi Peter.
Nice composition with excellent low POV.Good detail and sharp image.I also like the idea of having a BG that is not to much OOF.
TFS Michel

You know what I like best about this one? It was shot at the full 300mm:-) Even when relaxing these creatures look frightening..I suppose in some cultures they carry a different feel, but in my short years in Florida back a long time ago I saw my share...with no camera..Very interesting and unique pose!

  • Great 
  • valy67 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1727 W: 59 N: 3060] (9219)
  • [2009-06-01 11:45]

Hello Peter !
I don't think I really want to know what they are talking about - better stay away from them ! :-) Their teeth ook really impressive ! It is really a fantastic capture, to have 4 of these dangerous animals, mouth open, on the same picture. Very well done !

Ciao Peter. Chatters among four little friends? Great compo in amazing light. TFS.


Hallo Peter,

ja dit soort opnames maak je niet in de Nederlandse natuur.
Mooie compositie en gezichtsveld.
Prima plaat.


Hello Peter
a great scene of this crocodiles, very impressive with her mouth open
very good POV and superb composition with the river in the BG
beautiful colors
Have a good night

Ciao Peter, lovely hungry quartet in nice pose, splendid capture with great sharpness and fine details, very well done, ciao Silvio

Look at those gigantic, cave-like gaping mouths!
This is a very timely action shot you took during your trip to Ethiopia, Peter.
Despite the harsh sun, you have managed a good shot of the congregation of these 'talking' Crocks.
Thanks and regards.

  • Great 
  • red45 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2636 W: 74 N: 9091] (31094)
  • [2009-06-03 4:06]

Hello Peter!

Looks very nice, but only in picture :-) I think these reptiles could tear you apart and eat in three seconds or less :-) Anyway - great picture with funny scene. Animals look like old ladies sitting and talking about gossips. Beautifull colour of water BTW. I like it.

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2009-06-03 11:42]

Hi Peter.
I hope you was far from these impressive animals. However, close-up is fantastic, with great clean and bright colours, terrific sharpness and details of the FG and cute group of tender :) creatures. I also like impressive BG. Bravo. Perfect, pictorial shot.

hello Peter

WOW ! what a mouths and theets, superb timing to shoot them
in photo with fine frontal POV, fine focus with excellent
sharpness and details, i love the background as landscape image,



  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2009-06-04 11:48]

Hello Peter
What a marvellous capture of these three Nile Crocodiles!
+: Sharpness, DOF, pose, BG, composition, colours and lighting.
-: none
Thanks and best regards,

  • Great 
  • Luis52 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1175 W: 8 N: 4240] (15809)
  • [2009-06-04 14:34]

Hola Peter.
What a great moment You have here. The picture is just wonderful. Excellent image. Great note.

  • Great 
  • foozi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2791 W: 0 N: 6696] (25839)
  • [2009-06-05 0:45]

Hi Peter,
what an original shot. superbs sharpness and details of the crocs.
Nice presentation in its natural surroundings.
Really such an experience to be so near.


  • Great 
  • SelenE Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2249 W: 65 N: 4205] (13972)
  • [2009-06-05 10:39]

Hello Peter,
Pose you caught is very good. They look sooo huge...
Have a nice weekend,

Hi Peter,
Fantastic photo with a great title. :) Probably the crocodiles talked about "let's open our mouth to help Peter in order to make a bombastic shot". :) This image really is. I mean bombastic. And You were brave to close them so much.
Congrats and tfs, regards from Hungary, László

hello Peter,
excellent capture for huge three crocodyles. great timing, POV, focus. nicely composed. thanks for sharing.
sorry for my silence. I have been in field work for a long time and it will finish at the end of summer. Now, I can visit your last post.
best wishes

Un trabajo impresionante Peter, que te pone en escena y te hace soñar con otras tierras. Originalidad ya que despiertas interés incluso sin verse los cuerpos de los reptiles.
Saludos: Josep Ignasi.

very good pose
great details and good sharpness 'the colours are very good

I am sure they are talking about something to eat! Good that they not got the photographer! Superb photo!

Calibration Check