A new viral video offers a rare glimpse at how Nile crocodiles socialize in the wild.
The footage, which was shared on Instagram by natureismetal, proves that even wild animals have issues with entitled youth. And in the crocodile world, those issues can lead to serious injury or even death.
In the clip, several crocs feast on a zebra, and they all seem to be getting along fine. But when a young crocodile swims in for a bite, a massive male immediately attacks it. Natureismetal explained the dispute in its comments.
“A large Nile crocodile (let’s call him Gordon) flexes on a smaller one (we’ll call him Isaac) at the dinner table,” the post begins. “Isaac has a reputation for not doing any of the heavy lifting at the watering hole. He’ll just laze around all day and wait for one of the others to risk it all before he gets off his ass and ‘helps out’ with the cleanup.”
The Nile Crocodile Follows a Strict Hierarchy While Sharing Meals
The Nile crocodile, which lives throughout Africa, is technically a solitary reptile. But, they often spend time socializing in groups. The animals enjoy basking in the sun in packs. And they tend to share their kills, which usually consist of fish, birds, and various mammals.
However, there is a strict hierarchy that all Nile crocs must follow. While eating, the largest and oldest males get first dibs, as they are the ones that usually bring the food to the group. Typically, the other crocodiles respect that boundary. But when they don’t, the situation can quickly become deadly.
The video shows a less violent example of how that situation plays outs. However, it seems that Isaac survived solely on luck. Hopefully, that near miss will make him understand that the Gordons of the pond won’t tolerate rude missteps.
“On the other hand, Gordon played a pivotal role in subduing this hefty gift and is tired of Isaac’s mooching ways,” the post continues. “I truly feel that Gordon’s intention was to kill Isaac, but he was able to wriggle his way out before it was too late.”
In the clip, Gordon makes a quick sneak attack while Issac is focused on the zebra. Isaac is positioned sideways, which makes it harder for his foe to chomp down. And by the end, he twists and pushes himself out of the clutches before swimming away seemingly uninjured.
“Maybe Isaac will think twice about freeloading off of one of Gordon’s kills in the future,” the post concludes.