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Science in Brief

Crocodile babies 'talk' before birth

June 28, 2008|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Baby crocodiles start calling to one another and their mothers just before they hatch, perhaps signaling that it is time to be born, according to a report Monday in the journal Current Biology.

Researchers tested 10 crocodiles and their eggs, recording sounds the babies made. When the sounds were played back, the babies hastened to break out of their shells and eight of the mothers tried to dig up their eggs.

Researchers said that many baby reptiles are eaten by predators right after birth, so it may be important for them to hatch together and for the mother to be there as they do.

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