We saw a crocodile on game drive this morning! Isn’t that fun? We don’t see them often, so it’s a pretty big deal.
… That temperature determines a crocodile’s sex? Yep, the temperature that the crocodile’s eggs sit at in the nest will determine if those hatchlings are little boy crocodiles or little girl crocodiles.
It’s called ‘temperature dependent sex determination.’ Or TSD. It’s a reptile thing.
It’s been shown that boys (‘crocomales’) incubate within a really tiny temperature range; between 31.7 and 34.5 degrees C. Any colder than that, and you’ve got girls. Any hotter and you’ve also got girls.
It means that within a single nest you’ll have a cool female:male:female sex ratio.
Conclusion: girl crocodiles are hotter. But colder. But hotter.
I drew an exquisite diagram showing exactly how this process works.
Hoofnote: As is TSD wasn’t enough to make crocodiles interesting, you should also know that crocodiles are the only animal in South Africa that see humans as natural prey. When they eat us, it’s fair game.
This morning’s game drive sightings:
Woolly necked stork
Gorgeous bush shrike
Black backed puffback