Thursday, February 14, 2008

Crocs are Super Critters!

Hi! I’m Claire Eamer, author of Super Crocs and Monster Wings: Modern Animals’ Ancient Past.

I’m fascinated by animals, both ancient and modern. Where I live, in the Yukon, we know all about the ancient animals. During the last ice age, large parts of the Yukon escaped the glaciers. Instead, the land was covered with grass and home to some of the animals in my book, including giant sloths, beavers as big as bears, and North American camels.

It wasn’t crocodile country, even then, but I have met crocs, up close and personal. Fortunately, there was a good, strong fence between us.

In Australia a couple of years ago, I visited a wildlife preserve with scores of saltwater crocodiles living more or less as they would in the wild. Humans were safely fenced into gravel walkways or loaded onto boats, while the crocodiles glided through the muddy river or basked on the bank in the hot sun, their mouths wide open to avoid overheating.

A saltwater crocodile eyes tourists in Australia.

Those mouths! Most of them were at least the length of an arm, but you wouldn’t want to check that measurement. And when the crocodiles snapped at each other, the sound was like a trap closing. A big trap. With teeth. Lots and lots of teeth.

On a hot day in Australia, any water looks inviting--but you may change your mind when you check the warning signs!

That’s why, when I heard of a prehistoric croc as big as a city bus, I just knew I had to include it in the book.

Want to see some more of my writing? Check out the following:

* "Dopted" -- Cover story for the 2007 Holiday Edition of Written Word Magazine

* "The Lost Land" in POLARIS: A Celebration of Polar Science (Star Ink Books, 2007)

* "Time Change" in Vestal Review 27

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