Crocodile shows

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Today we went to a crocodile show at the Melbourne Zoo called Crocodilia. Almost five months ago to the day, we went to a crocodile show at the Phuket Zoo in Thailand. Can you spot the differences?

Croc show 5

Phuket Zoo 6

Croc show 10

Phuket Zoo 4

I know, I know, it’s easy to see: at the Melbourne Zoo, the keeper is handling a juvenile American Alligator, whilst in Phuket, the keeper is handling a full-grown Asian crocodile.

Seriously though, there were also differences in what we learned at the respective shows.

At Melbourne Zoo, we learned that crocodilia have evolved with five key characteristics that have enabled them to survive for more than 2 million years: the ability to be submerged but breathe above the water; the capacity to draw energy from the sun through their backs; a rudder-like tail that propels them through the water; estivation, or the ability to hibernate during hot, dry times of food scarcity and re-emerge once the rains come; and being communicate with their young, even whilst the babies are still inside the eggs. A mother crocodile may use her teeth to help a baby having trouble breaking out of its egg.

In the first photo, Tash can be seen far right standing next to the zookeeper and holding a megaphone to ‘demonstrate’ a baby crocodile communicating with her mother. And because she was part of the show, she got to pat the American Alligator afterwards [photo 3].

At Phuket Zoo, we learned sometimes a crocodile will simply not be roused, no matter how many times it is poked, prodded and dragged by the tail [photo 4] — and even when someone lies on top of it [photo 3].

The Crocodilia show is part of Melbourne Zoo’s school holiday program and is on at 11am and 1pm in the marquee next to the Carousel park.

The Crocodile Show at Phuket Zoo is a feature attraction and can be seen at various times throughout the day.

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