By Alexander Villafania INQUIRER.net MANILA, Philippines -- An endangered species of crocodiles have joined other aquatic attractions at the Manila Ocean Park. Crocodylus mindorensis, otherwise known as the Philippine crocodile, were given a special pond at the giant oceanarium as part of a major conservation effort started by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). All of the five crocodiles are female and would primarily serve as conservation attractions. The juvenile crocodiles are about one meter long but can reach a length of 2.5 meters (7 feet) when fully grown. The International Union for Conservation of Nature has put the Philippine crocodile in the endangered species list. The species is suffering from hunting and loss of habitat. DENR Director for Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau Theresa Mundita Lim said there are only 100 Philippine crocodiles in the wild today. A few individual crocodiles are living for captive breeding. Lim said they will not be using the crocodiles from MOP for captive breeding but when they do reach maturity, these could be moved to another facility for that purpose. Lim said the Philippine crocodile, like other species of crocodiles and alligators, receive bad rep from most people. She said crocodiles are not ravenous man-eating animals but eat only when necessary. "They can conserve the food they eat to last them for a long time, that's why they would try to consume just as much as they can so they won't have to eat often," Lim added. Lim said that apart from the Philippine crocodile, the MOP and DENR are working on including some species of endangered sea turtles. However, no plans have been set as to when turtles will be included in MOP.
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HERE'S interesting news from Bangkok. The latest fashion craze? The fishskin bikini, made from the skin of the tilapia fish. Check out this Reuters video. Hmm, how about our designers, what are they doing with our tilapia? :)
By Lawrence Casiraya INQUIRER.net WHAT'S the difference between alligators and crocodiles? Apparently not so much says this guy at Hartley's Creek Crocodile Farm in Cairns. The video below shows him feeding these nasty-looking crocs while telling us guests a thing or two about these reptiles. To answer my question, he says alligators have squarish mouths unlike these crocs in the picture that have pointed snouts. There are also fewer species of gators and they are likewise found in only a few countries. Whatever, these crocs still look nasty to me. Just hear them munch on the meat thrown at them. The fearsome sound is caused by the enormous pressure their mouths generate. Now that's what I call a bite. But seriously, when coming face-to-face with a croc, it pays to run fast -- in a straight line away from it and not zigzag, as myth would have it. Crocs are slow, lazy creatures and know when to give up the chase. They're so lazy they don't even blink their eyes that often. How about this? Crocs can suck their eyeballs into their skulls. They let us hold this 18-month old baby croc. Its mouth was tied, of course, even crocs this young already have sharp teeth. Cold-blooded to the touch but not as slimy and scaly like I expected it to be. I found out that they do serve crocodile meat as well. Our host, though, dared not serve us croc meat for dinner. Touching these creatures was more than enough experience for me.