Crocodile and the Plover Bird – SmallScience
Crocodile and the Plover Bird What do you think this courageous She gets into the crocodile's mouth and picks out the tiny bits of food stuck in his teeth. different ways to communicate different things to a fellow crocodile. plover birds cleaned the teeth of the Nile River crocodile. The relationship between these two animals was widely held to be a classic example of animal. This description of a bird that cleans the teeth of crocodiles has ones: each visible tooth has a solid tip but a hollow base and inside this base, Labels: crocodile, crocodile bird, egyptian plover, mutualism, myths, trochilus.
Crocodile and Plover Bird by Emely Martinez on Prezi
One of the most popular myths is that of "trochilus" as Herodotus, and later Aristotle and Pliny, call it. This is supposed to be an Egyptian bird that flies into the mouth of a basking crocodile and feeds on scraps of food and leeches attached to the jawline and tongue.
Herodotus describes it as follows: This benefits the crocodile, who is pleased, and takes care not to hurt the trochilus.
This description of a bird that cleans the teeth of crocodiles has undoubtedly entered popular culture, so much so that crocodiles are often used by advertising agencies to promote dental hygiene. But is it true? Do plovers or indeed any other birds actually clean the teeth of crocodiles?
Pluvianidae - Egyptian Plover
However, there's more to this story than just a simple yes or no. First off, there's no evidence anywhere in photographs or film to show birds cleaning crocodile teeth or ripping leeches from their tongue with the exception of that particularly clever digital fake you see above; click on it for the full version and no published reports of it in peer-reviewed literature.
I'd have thought a mutual relationship of this kind would have been easily observed by now. Secondly, contrary to popular belief crocodiles do not need their teeth cleaning.
They regularly shed their teeth and replace them with new ones: Tooth decay, broken teeth and staining are never a permanent problem for a crocodile. Thirdly, food simply cannot get stuck between their teeth - they are too widely spaced for food particles to get jammed in there, and they are regularly washed with water every time the crocodile slides off the bank. While bacteria and microscopic particles can indeed become prevalent around the base of the teeth, these are not problems that are going to be solved by the pecking of a bird large or small.
Leeches are another matter, and crocodiles certainly suffer from these insidious passengers. It's generally thought that gaping the mouth during the day helps a crocodile to dry its mouth and hence discourage leeches, but do birds also help out? She flies in groups. When a pair lands after the flight, they greet each other by raising their wings in a way that shows the black and white marks on them.
Crocodile and the Plover Bird
They greet each other regularly! They get into its mouth boldly, eat the food and fly away. Even when a Plover Bird is not around, his teeth still need to be cleaned! And a crocodile needs all this cleaning in spite of the following fact: A crocodile can grow new teeth through out his life.Crocodile and bird
Each time an old tooth falls out a new one will grow up to replace it! Crocodiles on the river Nile are the ones that benefit from their service.
Nile crocodiles are the second largest in the world and are so ferocious that they can walk to areas much far from their water home to catch cattle prey. Can crocodiles communicate, like us? If you have gone through the article on Bats on this website, you may have read about the way we produce sound through vocal chords.
Pluvianidae - Egyptian Plover - Bird Watching,Resources for Bird Watching by the Fat Birder
But crocodiles do not have a vocal chord! They have a voice box at the back of their throat through which they force air from their lungs to the nostrils. A young crocodile calls to the adult when he is in danger and also makes a lot of noise while being fed. Big crocodiles growl and hiss at each other.