Crocodile sex frenzy triggered by Chinook helicopters that sound like mating
Crocodiles have been whipped into a sex frenzy and it's all due to low-flying military helicopters.
The male residents of a crocodile farm in Queensland, Australia got all riled up after hearing the Chinook helicopter. It appears that they may have mistaken the whirring blades for the start of mating season.
Speaking to ABC News, John Lever, the owner of Koorana Crocodile Farm, said: “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”.
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Experts aren’t sure exactly why the beasts went into a frenzy, but they think the helicopter may have sounded like a thunderstorm to the animals. The experts added that storms tend to get the saltwater crocs hot and bothered.
However, October and November – spring months in Australia – are the animal's usual mating period. Thunderstorms are common during these months.
It's understood that mating during the storms means that once the eggs hatch, the weather conditions will be less severe. Giving the hatchlings a better chance at surviving.
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Herpetologist Mark O'Shea from the University of Wolverhampton told Live Science: "Usually, mating is a seasonal thing because [crocodiles] want to coincide with the best time to lay their eggs in a burrow or nest”.
So the sound and vibrations of the helicopter may have triggered a mating response in the beasts. The aircraft's blades may have also changed the biometric pressure in the same way as a storm.
The expert explained that other theories speculate the roar of the Chinook chopper may have mimicked the sound of the males bellowing and splashing their tales. Regardless of the theory, the next stage is the females nesting and laying eggs.
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They will use soil and rotting vegetables to incubate their eggs. The mothers will be fiercely protective over their nests for the next three months.
Lever's farm has about 3,000 of the reptiles, which he raises for their meat and leather and as a tourist attraction.
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