Despite very little photographic evidence or reports of crocodile attacks from above, a recent study conducted by researchers at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, confirms some species of crocodiles can actually climb trees at least to the crown (the part where branches and leaves start growing). Holy shit, cancel my swamp boat tour.
Vladimir Dinets, a research assistant professor in the Department of Psychology, is the first to thoroughly study the tree-climbing and -basking behavior.
Dinets and his colleagues observed crocodilian species on three continents — Australia, Africa and North America — and examined previous studies and anecdotal observations. They found that four species climbed trees — usually above water — but how far they ventured upward and outward varied by their sizes. The smaller crocodilians were able to climb higher and further than the larger ones. Some species were observed climbing as far as four meters high in a tree and five meters down a branch.
Did you read that? They observed crocs as high as 4-meters (13-feet) and 5-meters (16-feet) down a branch! Imagine looking up to see one of them ready to dive-bomb you with its jaws open!