ScienceDaily: No Faking It, Crocodile Tears Are Real
Science Daily — When someone feigns sadness they “cry crocodile tears,” a phrase that comes from an old myth that the animals cry while eating.
An alligator weeps while eating at the Florida's St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park in spring 2006. University of Florida zoologist Kent Vliet shot the photo while observing alligators and caimans at the park in an attempt to determine the truth of the myth that crocodiles cry while eating. Five of the seven animals, close relatives of the crocodile, teared up during meals. Like the one pictured here, some of their tears even bubbled and frothed.
Now, a University of Florida researcher has concluded that crocodiles really do bawl while banqueting – but for physiological reasons rather than rascally reptilian remorse.
UF zoologist Kent Vliet observed and videotaped four captive caimans and three alligators, both close relatives of the crocodile, while eating on a spit of dry land at Florida’s St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park.
He found that five of the seven animals teared up as they tore into their food, with some of their eyes even frothing and bubbling.
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