The Loh Down On Science

Croc Talk

Baby crocs call to their mama -- while still in the egg.

Sh! Is that the sound of a crocodile nursery? (Sound of crocodile eggs)

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with The Loh Down on Science

and on unborn Nile crocodiles. Who start vocalizing minutes before they hatch.

But who are they talking to? To find out, scientists at Jean-Monnet University in France recorded the inner-egg voicings of unborn crocs.

(under: sound of crocodile eggs)

The scientists then played the sounds to a nest full of eggs. . . which responded with their own chatter. Rocking and rolling--it was a reptilian Gymboree!

With random noise or silence? Eggs stayed mum. And took longer to hatch.

The researchers also replaced nests of buried eggs with speakers, then blasted the baby-talk to ten Mama Crocs. When they heard their little darlings, nearly every mom started digging.

It means that not only do unborn crocs talk to their nest-mates--"Hey, quit shoving!"-- they're also telling mom when the egg-timer has rung and they need a hand--er, claw--getting out.

And if you think that's a bunch of croc, well it is! Tiny. . . baby. . . crocs. Aw.


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