Crocodiles in Australia turn sex mad due to noise of Chinooks overheard
Crocodiles in Australia have been whipped into a sex frenzy by the sound of helicopters flying overhead according to scientists.
The massive reptiles at a crocodile farm in Queensland took the thumps from the rotors of Chinooks flying overhead to be the roar of a rival male, according to one theory.
Spurred on by the apparent presence of a large male, the saltwater crocodiles immediately swarmed nearby females leading to a “romp in the swamp”.
Researchers also presented the hypothesis that the thunderous rotor noise had the animals believing the wet season was underway which marks the annual start of the mating period.
Thunderstorms are known to be an aphrodisiac for saltwater crocodiles, and so are the military chinooks that frequently fly above the farm according to the owner.
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Koorana Crocodile Farm owner John Lever told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation: “We had a big Chinook that came down low because the guys wanted to take some pictures of the crocodiles.
“They were hanging out the door … and of course, Chinooks have got a big ‘thump, thump, thump’, like that.
“All of the big males got up and roared and bellowed up at the sky, and then after the helicopters left, they mated like mad.”
A crocodile expert from Charles Darwin University lent support for the theory that the sound of the Chinooks trick the crocs into believing the wet season has arrived.
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Dr Cameron Baker told ABC: “They’re probably using it as a bit of a cue to say: ‘Hey the wet’s coming’ … and it’s a good time to start mating so the eggs are ready to be laid at just the right time,
“It might be producing a very low-frequency ‘thump, thump’ as it hits the water.”
Dr Baker acknowledged that the rival mate call theory does also hold water saying: “That may just coincidentally be similar to some of the sounds big male crocodiles produce to say: ‘Hey, this is my turf.’”
The reptiles at Koorana Crocodile Farm are bred for their meat and skins while tourists can also visit for tours.
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