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The African dwarf crocodile can moo

Still Waters

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If you’ve ever wondered what a crocodile sounds like, we’re willing to bet you weren’t imagining this. One fun-size, West African crocodile inexplicably sounds just like a cow – and the revelation could be useful for conservationists trying to keep tabs on the tiny reptiles.

The African dwarf crocodile (Osteolaemus tetraspis) is the smallest extant species of crocodile, but what it lacks in stature, it more than makes up for in unusual vocalizations. Audio recordings reveal its uncanny, cow-like calls, as well as three other noises also resembling familiar sounds.

Far from being just an a-moo-sing discovery, this could also aid conservation efforts (O. tetraspis are classified as vulnerable in the IUCN Red List), providing a reference for species identification.



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