Assumption 3: No animal species, at the top of the food pyramid at the transition of land and water, could be found or conceived to disturb the relatively weaker animals of its habitat less in their free development or otherwise damaging them, than the Saltwater Crocodile.
The following evidence will show that Saltwater Crocodiles act practically in relation to the entire ecosystem surrounding them, in such a way that the other organisms are affected as little as possible. Before concrete evidence is presented, another clarification is needed: Virtually everything that the user of typical mass media with no experience of his own thinks he knows about the external impact of Saltwater Crocodiles is in reality either not present at all, or only to a very low extent.
When jumping crocodiles are shown on pictures in magazines with their mouths wide open, or when the impression is conveyed in correspondingly selected film sequences that these reptiles are constantly “in action” in a conspicuous way, this is practically the opposite of what can be observed in reality – or rather, cannot be observed. Because the Saltwater Crocodiles are so extremely inconspicuous, calm and reserved in their everyday lives, that someone without sensitization usually doesn’t notice them, even if they have been close for days and one has been observed by them during this period. In order to make this extreme inconspicuousness somewhat comprehensible, one can alternatively look at the first picture above and imagine that this is the first perceived encounter after weeks in the habitat of Saltwater Crocodiles.
Except for the chirping of the crickets and some wind in the trees, everything is quiet. Suddenly, the crocodile is discovered by chance in the shade of a tree (centre). But just as suddenly and quietly, it dives down and you wonder if it was a piece of wood or something similar. This is how the first sighting would likely go in practice.
The main part of the concrete verification does not require any imagination, because it is about basic anatomical features, which are well demonstrably oriented towards the creation of extreme inconspicuousness. It should be noted here that the question of whether the evolutionary orientation towards extreme inconspicuousness has its main purpose in camouflaging enemies and prey does not play a role in the examination of assumption 3. It is now only a matter of whether the statement of the assumption is correct or not. Extreme inconspicuousness and calmness is undoubtedly an ideal basis for disturbing the relatively weaker animals as little as possible.
If it is true that the crocodile form has always aimed at the least possible disturbance of its environment over millions of years, this must have manifested itself very clearly, especially in physical details. Anything else would make no logical sense. This manifestation is, indeed, very diverse. I will immediately show them, accompanied by my own photographs, as examples of three specific fields in relation to the Saltwater Crocodile. In the past verification, a characteristic of the Phytosaurs described in the paleontology was mentioned, which makes the orientation clearly recognizable by the over 200 million year-old fossils. To remember, the only striking difference to the current crocodilians was the position of the nose. Instead of being at the front end of the snout, as it is today, it was just in front of the eyes. The paleontological analyses indicate that the anatomical concept at that time was aimed at achieving the lowest possible appearance above the water surface, and thus the greatest possible inconspicuousness. It will now become clear that the current evolutionary concept has the same purpose, and that this is also evident in other fields of anatomy.
The Anatomy of the Head
A closer look at the skull of a Saltwater Crocodile lying in the water reveals how perfectly these animals have developed over the course of evolution in the direction of the greatest possible amount of inconspicuousness. By the way, the close-up picture is authentic: it was not taken in a zoo, but at a coincidental meeting in nature, while I was above the embankment of a creek. The picture clearly shows the enormous precision with which the nose and eye area have evolved, in order to be able to perceive and observe everything that takes place above the surface of the water in the best possible way, while the body is otherwise submerged and motionless (aspects concerning the effects below the surface will follow). Clearly, the surface of the water is very precisely just around the small nose plateau and along the edge of the lower eyelid.
If the “groin” behind the eyes, which is also above the water surface, seems to contradict the assumption of the greatest possible inconspicuousness, it can be presumed that this is not the case. There are solid assumptions that it is an anatomical organ equipped with fine sensory nerves, which serves a precise adjustment and thus supports inconspicuousness as perfectly as possible when in a resting position at the water’s surface. As can be seen here, this groin (or perhaps better “plate”) lies just above the surface of the water too, so that the edges reach very slightly above it. With this proven, extremely precise anatomical alignment of the skull to the greatest possible inconspicuousness, the evidence for assumption 3 has already been provided to a considerable extent, for it would not make any evolutionary sense that other characteristics of physics and behavior would not have developed in the same direction.
The Camouflage of the Body Surface
Just as with the anatomy of the head of Saltwater Crocodiles, the coloring and pattern of their body surface has also been aligned in the optical sense towards the greatest possible level of inconspicuousness. This is not visible in the specimens shown on the first pages on wide ocean beaches. But there, where it is particularly important in the sense of the least possible disturbance, thus at the shores of the tropical inland waters, that form the habitat of numerous other animals, also this characteristic emerges again in extreme way. In practice, crocodiles sometimes seem to merge with their surroundings.
Several times I was on the banks of a creek, only about one to two dozen meters before a large crocodile, and my eyes captured it too, but I did not recognize it. Recognition only occurred when the reptile that was disturbed by me suddenly rose from its resting position and slid into the water. That I show two pictures here is for the sability of the proof. Thus it becomes clear that the camouflage functions with the clouds (above), as well as with the sunshine (below).
The pattern and coloring of the body’s surface are precisely aligned so as to correspond to the main shades of the shore zones, the spotting of the leaves on the ground, and the shadows cast by the branches. These are the most important optical characteristics of a typical bank of inland waters in the tropics.
The pictures should make it clear that an increase in camouflage would not practically be possible. Here, too, the logical conclusion mentioned by means of the anatomy of the head applies. If the body surface of the Saltwater Crocodile has developed in the greatest possible and an almost perfect way towards inconspicuousness, then this entails the continuation of the conclusion that all other characteristics must also have been aligned in the same way.
The low-turbulence Movements
Another important part of the extreme inconspicuousness of Saltwater Crocodiles, formed by anatomy and behaviour, lies in their movements through the water and on the water’s surface. The picture here was taken while the crocodile was moving quite quickly on smooth water. There are almost no recognizable “bow waves”. Directly observed , it sometimes seems that this silent and almost turbulence-free gliding does not correspond with the physical laws of flow at all.
Of course, it does not only fit with these laws, but anatomy and movement patterns are even adapted to them with extremely high precision, in order to achieve maximum inconspicuousness. Documents from other researchers also show that these animals can move a few centimeters below the water surface without any visible turbulence. Surfacing and submerging also take place so carefully that, usually, no recognizable waves become visible, which I myself can testify to having seen many times.
Whoever observes the gliding, surfacing and submerging of a free Saltwater Crocodile in a calm body of water with a smooth water surface will recognize that all these properties of extreme calm – such as the anatomy of the head or the camouflage of the body surface – cannot be improved in such a massive form of life either.
Based on the three examples of physical orientation, the overall evidence should be that the Saltwater Crocodile’s external effects have evolved so far in the direction of least disturbance to other life forms that there could be no further reduction, given its enormous body size. This physical alignment might or might not have its main causes in the best possible camouflage against enemies and potential prey. But also here the answer to this question would not in any way change the statement of assumption 3, which is the proof.
Beyond the anatomical issues treated up to here, there are also basic characteristics which contribute to a stabilization of the proof, while they mainly concern the behavior of the Saltwater Crocodiles. The following corresponding example is somewhat difficult to present, because it concerns purely passive behaviour patterns. In reality, however, the effects are again very clear and, at least in part, they can be supported photographically.
The Peacefulness of the Saltwater Crocodiles
The above factors about the least possible disturbance to the environment by Saltwater Crocodiles are essentially based on anatomical properties. When I had gained enough experience to observe the crocodiles even inconspicuously where these characteristics did not play a role, I also noticed an effect that determines the entire behavior of the Saltwater Crocodile throughout most of its daily routine. These animals work in a way that could be defined as peaceful.
Their charisma is that of a deep tranquillity that seems to be part of being independent of their anatomy. I can’t say if this is only the result of the contrast between their physical size and a completely calm and relaxed posture. However, it can be seen that the behaviour of the other animals in the immediate vicinity is also characterized by relaxation. Birds come here and sit down on the huge reptiles or walk around in front of them; they obviously realize that the reptiles have no intention of capturing or attacking anything in this situation. This characteristic of peace and tranquillity over most of their daily life is another suitable piece of the puzzle in completing the picture of the low overall disturbance of Saltwater Crocodiles.
And now the picture is almost complete, as there is hardly anything left that might run against assumption 3 in any way at all. The only known effect would be the process of looting in the procurement of food. That this causes damage or disturbance to other living beings is in fact unavoidable for those at the top of the food pyramid. But as will be shown later in the evidence for assumption 4, everything that has become apparent so far with regard to the orientation towards the least possible disturbance of the other forms of life continues, even in this area.
Before this, however, I would like to add an even more far-reaching aspect to the present proof of assumption 3, which extends the effect of the large crocodiles beyond the least possible disturbance of the weaker life forms into clearly positive effects. This means that they not only restrict the best possible free development of the other beings in their habitat as little as possible, but even that they promote and protect them.
The Saltwater Crocodile as “Health Police”
Very far-reaching positive effects on the free existence of the other animals already result from the ecological role of crocodiles as “health police”. This happens almost automatically because they can most easily obtain prey animals that are ill or injured. Through their rapid capture, they end the suffering of the sick animals and stop the infection of other individuals. In the 1960s there was a suitable observation from South America about the crocodile species of caimans there. Local fishermen worried about the fish population and almost eliminated the reptiles within a few years. But when the crocodiles were gone, fish stocks suddenly collapsed and many fishermen became unemployed.
Only when the caimans were placed under strict nature protection in the 1970s and the populations recovered again, were there soon as many fish as before. The solution to the mystery was that the caimans automatically ensured that sick fish disappeared very quickly. With the removal of this “health police”, which probably had been functioning for millions of years, the fish species came under strong parasitic pressure and could not withstand it.
These effects as “health police” were also described to the Saltwater Crocodiles in various ways, whereby they are also still considered to be very effective disposers of even large carcasses and thus keep the waters particularly clean. Also with other predatory points of the food pyramids, as for instance the sharks, these effects are very easily recognizable and comprehensible. But the following presented example of a completely different positive effect of Saltwater Crocodiles was to my knowledge never discussed or even documented.
The Saltwater Crocodile as Protector of Ecological Structure
I would like to add something to what has been said so far about assumption 3, something that may sound incredible first. In addition to all the passive effects, these reptiles are also a kind of – again indirectly – very active and extremely effective protector of the weaker life forms of their environment.
This effect is caused by the fact that they are the only ones who actively and purposefully oppose strong intruders with damaging effects to the overall structure, in order to expel them from it. I have experienced this in a very practical way, because I myself held exactly the position of such a harmful intruder. I was relatively quiet and calm, with a sea kayak and traveling as an individual, as compared to a motorboat or a group of people. But still my actual effect on areas where there are no people has always been that of a very inappropriate and frightening troublemaker.
And many times, single Saltwater Crocodiles caused me to leave the respective place as fast as possible, and to move far away from it, by using complex “psycho games”. The adjacent pictures show the basic pattern of these ceremonies.
In order to understand them correctly, one must imagine the following situation: one has just arrived at a beach in order to take the place there and to automatically repress the other living beings there. But shortly after arrival, before the camp has even been set up, a big crocodile appears at the water’s surface, in front of the beach, and lifts its head and tensed rear tail out of the water.
Although these warning ceremonies – which I described in detail in my book “Die verdrängten Gesetze der belebten Natur” (“The Repressed Laws of Animated Nature”) – are purely passive, it can be clearly felt that one is the subject of a warning and is fixed upon by the crocodile with the highest concentration. From then on, camping at that place is no longer an issue. It is only a matter of getting out of the situation in order to put an end to one’s own, apparently very deliberately caused, anxiety.
So when I – often with immense fear – had left to look for another place to camp a few kilometers away, the many wallabies, possums, snakes, birds and other animals that I had disturbed, stressed and frightened by my appearance, were left in peace again. They clearly owed this to the Saltwater Crocodile, which was so peaceful and calm towards them. Their world was now in order again. And the crocodile went back leisurely to a comfortable place in the sun, enjoying its own peace in the ecological structure, an extremely harmonious existence.
Assumption 3 should now also be confirmed. The analysis of the anatomical characteristics of the Saltwater Crocodile, as well as the practical observations, result in a closed picture which leads to the smallest possible disturbance of the other life forms of the ecosystem surrounding the crocodiles. The only supposed gap in this picture is food procurement, which will now be examined.