Posts Tagged ‘crocodile’

dachshund crocodile

Today, there much talk about a flesh-eating drug called “Krokodil,” which is derived from the Russian* word for crocodile. There is quite a bit of paranoia about the drug spreading to the US, but it doesn’t seem likely at this time.

However, every time I see a report about this drug, I instantly think of a dog– more specifically, a dachshund.

The dog is written about at length in Konrad Lorenz’s Man Meets Dog (1949). Lorenz was one of the founders of the science of ethology, and wrote extensively about dogs and other domestic animals. He is perhaps best known for the modern interpretation of the theory of imprinting, which posits that certain animals, particularly birds, come to identify their parent species by attaching themselves to the first moving object or living thing they see.

He is also famous for the discredited hypothesis that most dogs are derived from golden jackals and only a few dogs have wolf in them. The jackal dogs were juvenile and friendly toward everyone, while the wolf-derived dogs were one-mannish and reserved.

The dog named Krokodil was a jackal dog. He was purchased to replace a real crocodile that was given to Lorenz when he was a young boy:

I shall begin with the example of a dog whose apparently touching juvenile affection was so exaggerated as to result in the positive caricature of a dog.  It was a dachshund named Kroki which I was given by a kind relation with no understanding of animals.  At time I was a small boy but already an active naturalist.  The dog was called Kroki  because the kind donor had first of all presented me with a crocodile, which in the absence of heating my terrarium, refused to eat, and which we therefore exchanged in the pet shop for the animal which bore the nearest outward resemblance to it! The dachshund was an aristocratic creature, long-bodied and short-legged– truly resembling a crocodile–and its pendulous ears literally trailed the floor. He was of an affecting friendliness, and greeted me on our first acquaintance as only a dog can greet a long lost master. Of course I was flattered, until it became clear that he greeted everyone else in the same manner.  He was obsessed with an overwhelming love of humanity which extended to all mankind.  He never barked at anybody and, even though he probably preferred my family and myself, he would readily follow a stranger if we did not happen to be available.

Now, this dachshund’s behavior is utterly unlike the dachshunds I’ve known, and my grandmother’s dachshund could have also been named after the archosaur. Unlike Lorenz’s dog, she not only had the crocodile’s body, she had the crocodile’s disposition as well. She barked at everyone, and I don’t know how many different people she  bit.  She bit me and all the other grandchildren, and as a result, I have a bit of fear of smooth dachshunds. I don’t have the same reaction with the other coats– the long-haired ones look like really strange golden retrievers– but if I see small smooth one, I get a bit nervous.

In the US, the dachshund is the “wiener dog.”  I have always thought this was a stupid name.

Maybe a better name for them would be crocodile dog.

It fits them so much better!


*Krokodil is also German for crocodile. Konrad Lorenz was Austrian and a German-speaker.





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From KeysNet.com:

When Janet and Larry Porath and their visiting daughter and grandchildren returned to their Key Largo home from a late lunch at Gilbert’s Resort Thursday afternoon, they had no idea the horror that awaited.

As they relaxed in the backyard of their house in the Twin Lakes subdivision at mile marker 103, their mixed-breed dog Roxie went about her usual routine of standing on the canal-front dock and staring at the manatees and small fish swimming in the water. Manicured mangrove bushes separate the backyard from the dock, so the Poraths couldn’t see Roxie as they talked.

But they were startled from their conversation when they heard Roxie bark, followed by a loud splash. For many dog owners in the Keys, the sound of their dog swimming in the canal is no cause for alarm, but Roxie wasn’t a water dog.

“She doesn’t want to go in the boat, and she doesn’t want to go in the water,” Janet Porath said.

What they heard was Roxie being pulled into the water by a large American crocodile.

Witnesses, including Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officers, estimate the saltwater croc to be at least 10 feet long. It sprang at least four feet out of the water to snatch Roxie, who was about 65 pounds, headfirst off the seawall.

The Poraths rushed to the dock to find Roxie, but they couldn’t see her. Neighbors across the canal spotted the crocodile swimming a few feet from the Poraths’ house. Roxie was in the reptile’s mouth.

Crocodiles typically take a while to consume a meal, especially when it’s a large mammal like Roxie. They drown their prey before going about their business of consuming it, said FWC biologist Lindsey Hord.

Deputies with the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office arrived almost immediately after being called by the Poraths. The deputies called the FWC, and Officer Jason Rafter responded. Rafter knew Roxie was dead, but said in his report that he thinks it would be best for the family to retrieve her body.

“I decided to try and recover the dog from the croc so the owner wouldn’t have to listen, see or know that [her] pet was being devoured all evening right behind the house,” Rafter wrote.

A neighbor drove Rafter in his skiff in the canal, and the men tried to force the crocodile to release Roxie.

The crocodile tried to submerge beneath the water, but Roxie’s body was too buoyant. Rafter kept slapping the water with a stick to startle the animal, but it swam into the mangroves. As Rafter and the neighbor gave chase in the small boat and got closer to the croc, it finally let go of Roxie and swam away.

It took several attempts for Rafter to retrieve the dog’s body from the mangrove thicket. The Poraths are grateful to Rafter for his efforts. They had Roxie cremated Friday morning.

American crocodiles (Crocodylus acutus) usually don’t cause problems with people.

There are no verified reports of one attacking a person in the United States, and attacks on people in other parts of their range are relatively uncommon.

I can’t find any analysis of how often they attack dogs, but other crocodiles do like to take dogs if given the opportunity.

American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) often live on stray dogs, but I haven’t heard of American crocodiles regularly targeting dogs anywhere.

Maybe they do, and we just don’t hear about it.

Their range is so limited in the United States that we really don’t get a full picture of their behavior in other parts of their range.

It is thought that their range is forever limited to extreme southern Florida because they cannot compete with the alligators that dominate the territory just to the north.

Alligators and crocodiles are more distantly related to each other than dogs and cats are, so their behaviors and ecology are quite different. American crocodiles like salt water and esturine environments, while American alligators stay almost exclusively in fresh water.

Alligators have attacked people in the United States. It is very well-documented.

However, neither species has the attack record on people that Indo-Pacific and Nile crocodiles have.

It was a very sad thing that happened to this dog, but it is somewhat unusual.





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It’s not a tortoise. It’s a turtle


Reminds me of this:


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Crocodile eats shark


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A crocodile has been spotted in a pond near the village of Xertigny in the Vosges region of France. Now, a crocodile has no place in the Vosges region, so it is either an escaped pet or zoo animal. Or an common animal that has been misidentified.

In true crocodile hunter style, the local authorities have placed a chicken near the pond to see entice the saurian from its depths.

Lacking any other option, some in the village want the pond drained, which, of course, is the nuclear option.

My guess is that someone has come across a large carp or pike. That’s also what the local anglers are saying.

I have seen very large carp in ponds, and they do look a bit like alligators.

Now, I’ve never been in an area where one could see both pike or alligators, but I cand see where someone could mistake a pike for a crocodilian.

It could be a pet caiman that has been released. Heck, we have a population of spectacled caimans in Florida that was founded by escaped pets.

This story does have my curiosity piqued, so stay tuned.

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