Monday, January 17, 2011

darwin comes to lunch

The joys of living in Mexico -- especially coastal Mexico -- never cease to amaze me.

Between my breakfast with Babs and the Cisco's Amigos fundraiser (breakfast with babs), I decided to take a look around the laguna.  My neighbors in the upper unit told me they had seen a large crocodile in the main portion of the laguna.

I grabbed my binoculars and camera, and walked over to where they said they saw him.  I saw nothing other than a large mound of floating debris.

When I came back to the house, though, I noticed what looked like offal (probably intestines) floating in the inlet just off the bank.  It is the photograph at the top -- and you do not want to enlarge it, no matter how pretty it appears to be.

I went to the fundraiser, and discovered there are now two large crocodiles in the main channel of the laguna -- Lumpy and Scar.  My neighbors probably saw one of them.

When I got home, I decided to rest in the hammock while pretending to read the newspaper on my Kindle.  It is hard to do that with your eyes closed.

I may have drifted off.  But I woke up when I heard a loud splash in the inlet.  My first thought was that whoever threw the garbage in the laguna had returned for part two of basura disposal.

But I was wrong.  When I got out on the walkway, I saw the source of the noise.  My little crocodile was back.  And he was looking for lunch.

He would approach the offal as if it were alive.  He would then slowly nudge up against it and smell it.  From the looks of it, it probably smelled horrible.

I thought that was going to be the end of this little Marlin Perkins vignette.  But, once again, I was wrong.

The crocodile grabbed the meat and did what I have seen crocodiles do before -- he spun.  Faster than a Kirov ballerina.

He then tried to deal with the long portion of intestine he had torn off by tossing it in the air.  When that didn't work, he smacked his head against the surface of the water until a consumable portion broke off.  No Emily Post rules at that dinner.

I have watched the crocodiles at La Manzanilla feed on the remains of bill fish.  They have all of the same feeding habits.  But they are not in the least bit shy.

This crocodile is shy -- very shy.  Each time I would move, he would freeze.  And rest in the water like a log until I stopped moving.

There may be two reasons for this difference in behavior.  The La Manzanilla crocodiles see lots of people every day.  This fellow does not.  Most of his feeding is nocturnal.

The second reason is his size.  He is quite small.  In his reptilian eyes, I may outrank him on the food chain.  And historically, that has been true.

As it turned out, the only thing higher on the food chain were mosquitoes.  I was so engrossed at taking photographs and video that I did not notice my lower legs were covered by the nasty little beasts.

It is ironic that those mosquitoes are vectors for diseases caused by even smaller organisms.  And yet we fear the crocodile.

The crocodile was still feeding when the sun went down.  Who knows what he started hunting after his offal meal.


tancho said...

You poor soul, crocodiles and sure sacrifice yourself for letting us being a part of your retirement....

Felipe Zapata said...

Jeez, man.

Francisco said...

I seem to remember you mentioning caimen in the Barra/Melaque area....what happened to them? Or, is that what I'm looking at in today's post?

Steve Cotton said...

The crocodile in my photographs is the same crocodile (I think) who has lived in my inlet since I moved in. Fascinating creature. But I am a bit concerned someone is feeding him red meat. No sense in having him associate food with people.

Steve Cotton said...

I bet I don't see anything like that in the highlands.

Steve Cotton said...

The crocodiles are a joy to share. The mosquitoes -- not so much.

By the way, I think the crabs I saw on Playa de Oro were the same type you blogged about last year.

brenda said...

Great pictures, even the awful offal lol.
Mosquitos Yuck. I don't miss them. At home we have hardly any, uptown a few more; but nothing like that.

Al Polito said...

Thank you, Marlin Perkins!