Wed, Dec 22, 2010 - Page 17 News List

Israel sonic booms rouse randy crocs
以色列戰機超音速飛行 催情鱷魚求偶

Crocodiles are pictured at an enclosure in Karachi, Pakistan on Nov. 26, 2010.

PHOTO: AFP 照片:法新社

Sonic booms created by Israeli warplanes speeding across the sky are having the unintended consequence of launching hibernating crocodiles into mating mode, the daily Maariv reported last week.

According to the newspaper, each time warplanes break the sound barrier over a crocodile breeding farm in the Golan Heights, the randy reptiles begin emitting their ritual mating cry.

“The powerful squealing noises, reminiscent of the sound of a car braking, can be heard from hundreds of meters around,” David Golan, head of crocodile breeding at the Hamat Gader park, told Maariv.

The calls appeared to be a response to the sonic booms, which seemed to convince the crocodiles that other males had begun making mating signals, the newspaper said.

There are around 100 crocodiles at the park, which is underneath airspace used by the Israeli air force for training runs.

A population boom is not expected, however, because the male crocs are all bark and no bite.

Despite issuing their signature mating calls when the planes break the sound barrier, there has been no uptick in actual breeding — and the “official” mating season does not begin until the summer.










1. hibernate v.

冬眠 (dong1 mian2)

例: The bears hibernate in some very unusual places.


2. sound barrier n.

音障 (yin1 zhang4)

例: Residents have complained about the number of planes breaking the sound barrier when flying over the area.


3. emit v.

發出 (fa1 chu1)

例: Cell phones emit low levels of radiation.


4. airspace n.

領空 (ling3 kong1)

例: The spy planes have regularly crossed into enemy airspace.


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