Sunday, December 19, 2010

IDF sonic booms make crocodiles want to mate

From Ma'an:
Sonic booms created by Israeli warplanes speeding across the sky are having the unintended consequence of launching hibernating crocodiles into mating mode, the daily Maariv reported Sunday.

According to the newspaper, each time warplanes break the sound barrier over a crocodile breeding farm in the Golan Heights, the randy reptiles begin emitting their ritual mating cry.

"The powerful squealing noises, reminiscent of the sound of a car braking, can be heard from hundreds of meters around," David Golan, head of crocodile breeding at the Hamat Gader park, told Maariv.

The calls appeared to be a response to the sonic booms, which seemed to convince the crocodiles that other males had begun making mating signals, the newspaper said.

There are around 100 crocodiles at the park, which is underneath airspace used by the Israeli air force for training runs.

A population boom is not expected, however, because the male crocs are all bark and no bite.

Despite issuing their signature mating calls when the planes break the sound barrier, there has been no uptick in actual breeding -- and the "official" mating season does not begin until the summer.