Supersonic Jets Put Crocodiles in the Mood for Love

Photos: KhayaL / NASA

If you thought nothing put a crocodile in the mood for love quite like the beady, vacuous eyes and razor-sharp grin of a potential mate, think again. It turns out that, after millions of years on Earth, sometimes all a cold-blooded croc needs to get hot is the sound of a supersonic jet passing overhead. But it's not a love for aviation upping their libido -- sonic booms, apparently, sound quite a bit like a crocodile love song.According to the Maariv, a Hebrew newspaper, Israeli Air Force pilots training over the skies of a crocodile nursery nearby never suspected that reaching supersonic speeds was having much of an impact on wildlife -- but a recent study of the reptiles' behavior showed something quite unusual. Tests revealed that the sonic booms overhead were somehow stimulating the crocs, you know, sexually.

Oddly enough, that powerful sound from passing jets is reminiscent of a crocodile's natural mating call that signals when it's time to procreate. Typically, these boisterous love-songs occur in the early morning during Spring, rising in a cacophony that can be heard for miles around. The sound has been described by some biologists as similar to noises from a motor vehicle -- so to crocs, there must be nothing quite as sexy as a supersonic jet engine.

While the animals may very well be delighted that love seems to be in the air more than usual lately, crocodile handler David Golan believes the jet inspired drive to matie is cause for concern. The crocs, which normally perform mating rituals in a particular part of the year, are having their biological clocks thrown off by all the unnatural noise.

To make matters worse, the crocodiles are none the more satisfied by the mating call confusion. The crocs have been observed bellowing back their own song, but for some reason they never seem to partner up with any mate -- as if it's just the jet overhead that has won them over, though it never ceases to play hard-to-get.

Crocodile tears or not, that's got to hurt.

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Tags: Airplanes | Animals | Israel