Crocs Know Their Names, Open Up on Call

Brit aquarium has reptiles answering to Paleo, Suchus
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 26, 2010 11:46 AM CST
A Cuban crocodile.   (AP Photo)

(Newser) – Two crocodiles at a British aquarium have been taught to recognize their own names, a feat that works with mammals in captivity but rarely with reptiles. “They are very intelligent and started responding to their names in just a few days,” the zoo’s manager tells the Telegraph. The crocs’ keepers manage the training by rewarding their charges with food when they react correctly.

“As well as enabling us to approach them and inspect and treat any potential health issues it will also allow us to set up tasks and foraging exercises for them to mimic the types of behavior they would have to use in the wild,” the manager continues. The crocs, Paleo and Suchus, have also been trained to open their mouths in anticipation of feeding. The aquarium plans “enrichment activities” for the pair once fully trained.

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