Friday, September 9, 2011

So it is not fantasy to see in this photograph something uncanny, an encounter between humans and the monsters of prehistory. Crocodiles are survivors of the dinosaur age (although they are not dinosaurs). They connect us directly with the giant reptiles that swam in Jurassic seas, as well as with fantasies of fire-breathing dragons that humans created as they contemplated the abundance of the natural world. Crocodiles have been worshipped as gods, their skins have been worn as armour, and finally, in the 18th century, they started to be drawn accurately by naturalists. Hunted or cherished, they have never lost the fearsome charisma that comes with guile and age.


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