Friday, April 13, 2007
Can a crocodile bite a man's arm clean off?
You've no doubt seen the story of the man who's arm was bitten off by a crocodile in Tiawan.
The arm belongs to vet Chang Po-yu at the Shousham zoo in Koahsiung.
It's a strinking photo isn't it?
The thing is, are croc's teeth not adapted for clamping, not cutting? Don't they bite their prey and drag them whole into the water to drown, rather than tear chunks off?
The teeth of most crocodillians are fairly short, uniform and cone like, perfect for clamping down hard on to a tasy vet's arm, but not cutting it clean off. They don't occlude in such a way to allow shearing and cutting of meat, like your front incisors do.
So what happend here? The arm looks severed just over half way down the forearm. You'll notice the the Did the crock clamp down, crushing the bone and then the skin and muscle tore off? Did the arm get clamped in, and the paramedics (or whoever) cut him free, leaving his fore arm in place? Or is the photo a fake?