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Take Off!

Take Off!
Photo Information
Copyright: James Parker (Jamesp) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2004-12-30
Categories: Reptiles
Camera: Canon 1D Mark II, Canon EF 300mm f2.8 USM IS
Exposure: f/4, 1/500 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2007-07-17 5:51
Viewed: 7028
Points: 40
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
The lakes of Etiophia's section of the Rift Valley contain some of the biggest crocodiles I have seen. This one was part of a mass 'haul out' of around 40, all 3m+ - some truly massive. It was interesting that the fishermen were going about their buiness, totally ignoring the corodiles.

The preferred habitat of Nile crocodiles is along rivers, in freshwater marshes, or along lakes; in some cases they thrive in more brackish water, along estuaries or in mangrove swamps.

They are found in most of Africa south of the Sahara Desert, extending as far south as Kruger National Park and the Waterberg Massif in South Africa; they also occur in northern Madagascar, and along the Nile River basin. Historically, they were present on the islands of Comoros, which lie between Madagascar and Mozambique, but no more. In more recent times, Nile crocodiles were present in Israel, Jordan, and Algeria. Their absence is blamed on an increasingly arid climate, and the corresponding reduction of their wetland habitat; diminutive (both in individual and in population size) remnant populations are known from Mauretania (Tagant Plateau, thought to be gone by 1996 but rediscovered in 1998 and 1999, Algeria and Chad (Guelta d'Archei). They are also no longer found in the Nile Delta, or along the nearby coast of the Mediterranean Sea. Their range nowadays corresponds roughly with the Afrotropic ecozone.

Their ability to lie concealed with most of their body underwater, combined with their speed over short distances, makes them effective opportunistic hunters of larger prey. They grab such prey in their powerful jaws, drag it into the water, and hold it underneath until it drowns. They will also scavenge kills, although they avoid rotting meat. Groups of Nile crocodiles may travel hundreds of meters (yards) from a waterway to feast on a carcass.

Once their prey is dead, they rip off and swallow chunks of flesh. When groups of Nile crocodiles are sharing a kill, they use each other for leverage, biting down hard and then twisting their body to tear off large pieces of meat. This is called the death roll. They may also get the necessary leverage by lodging their prey under branches or stones, before rolling and ripping.

Nile crocodiles are reputed to have a symbiotic relationship with certain birds like the spur-winged plover. According to reports, the crocodile opens its mouth wide, and then the bird picks pieces of meat from between the crocodile's teeth. This has proven hard to verify, and is probably not a true symbiotic relationship.

The Nile crocodile is the largest African crocodilian, reaching lengths of up to 5 m (16 ft), or rarely up to 6.1 m (20 ft).[1] Good sized males weigh 500 kg (1100 lb), and truly exceptional specimens may exceed 900 kg (2,000 lb). Like all crocodiles they are sexually dimorphic, with the males up to 30% larger than the females, though the difference is less than in some species, like the Saltwater crocodile.

PaulH, jaywalker, saguzar, gracious, JORAPAVI, marhowie, nglen, Proframe, pablominto, jcoowanitwong, delic, ramthakur has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2007-07-17 5:58]

Hello James,
a nice shot of these crocs.
Great timing to capture the splash from the croc's foot.
I think the main focal point should be the splash but has been cropped a bit tight on the bottom-left and so leaves the eye to wander for a bit.
However brilliant detail and low-down POV.
Well done,
Joe :)

  • Great 
  • PaulH Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1137 W: 26 N: 3879] (13882)
  • [2007-07-17 6:02]

Hi James,
must have been a great experience to see these Croc's in their natural environment. Excellent low POV and some nice lighting too, i really like the stance of those legs in the mid-stride position.

Hi James, A stunning action photo, the detail is very good & you have captured brilliant motion, the light is a bright, however the shot is still wonderful, kind regards Wilson.

Hi James,
Spectacular action! Very good picture about these dangerous reptiles. Details and quality are superb. A bit blurred the front croc because the movement, this add more movement sensation to the pic.

Hello James,
what a great moment and timing in capturing this amazing group crocs!
good pov with total clarity and details
well composed and well seen
thanks for sharing, James

Hello James,
Wonderful shot of the crocs going for a swim
very sharp image, well focused, great POV
and composition.. Well Done

"I'll Be Back"

Hola James,
Bonita y original captura poco frecuente en TN, imagen muy dinámica y detallada, TFS. Saludos
José Ramón

Hi James,
Yep, they sound like big suckers :)
Excellent note and action capture, thanx!

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2007-07-17 10:58]

Hello James,
Good photo with a good timing. Beautiful natural colours. Very good low POV and details. Nice composition.

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2007-07-17 11:33]

Hi James. What fine looking Crocodiles . they are so strong you can see the power. a very good action shot.good detail in the skin. very well done TFS. Great notes too.

Hello James,
Great capture of the momnet the croc splashes in to the water.
He really seems to run very fast looking at the pose.
Sharpness and clarity are perfect and the details at the skin wonderful.
Thanks for sharing.
Best wishes,

  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2007-07-17 20:08]

Hello James

They look so happy all the time.A wonderful shot with an amazing POV.Well composed,you get the sense a few more are following.Nicely done.TFS


Hello James,
A great dynamic composition!
Action is well captured, good clarity in colours and great details in the reptiles!
Pablo -

  • Great 
  • Mana Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1772 W: 36 N: 5597] (18598)
  • [2007-07-18 0:40]

Hi James,
Splendid action shot and you have captured an amazing moment - the Croc dive. The splash of water seems so special and presents motion in the shot. Those gigantic beasts look scary from this distance too. Very sharp details and fine focus. Excellent POV to portray this action and a superb composition. Kudos.

Hello James,
This is wonderful action shot. Perfect timing. The image is sharp and well exposed. Nice composition. Very well done.

  • Great 
  • gannu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 988 W: 4 N: 3277] (14761)
  • [2007-07-18 3:45]

James, to me it appears it is landing. Look at the expression and you have absolutely framed it very nicely captured it friend. TFS Ganesh

hello james,
lovely shot, nice timing, well composed shot with fine pov, splash of water looks good,
well done,
tfs & regards

Hello James,

What a great moment and timing in capturing this crocs. Very good pov, clarity and details. That's real nature. Regards. have a nice day and TFS Bob

  • Great 
  • delic Gold Star Critiquer [C: 440 W: 6 N: 310] (898)
  • [2007-07-30 0:25]

Hello James,
Excellent capture of the crocs from a low pov. Would be interesting to see them in action. No, I don't mean the fishermen :). Where were you when you shot this? It seems like you were ignoring them, too. Cheers,

Just the split-second moment of take-off captured with great precision, James. The displaced water spray on impact says it all.
These are some formidable looking crocs. Great action picture!
Your note as ever is a treasure of very useful information.
TFS and regards.

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