The Living Crocodilians






Clockwise, from top left:
(All of the images are clickalicious)
Jeane Rene Lacoste, “The Crocodile.” Famous French tennis champion, the inspiration for Izod’s, “alligator shirts” and other apparel. Interesting that his nickname was The Crocodile (for his playing style– don’t ask me!), but that was somehow lost on the consumerati. Nile crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus)

Michael Kamen, Oscar-nominated composer, conductor, and arranger. He’s created the soundtracks for many movies, including Brazil, Lethal Weapon, The Iron Giant, Mr. Holland’s Opus, and the live-action 101 Dalmatians. The image in the collage is from his 1973 solo debut, New York Rock. Common caiman (Caiman crocodilius)

The Cayman Islands, a territory of the United Kingdom, were discovered by Christopher Columbus on his 4th voyage, in 1503. Columbus called them Las Tortugas, for the many sea turtles he saw there. They are not to be confused with the Dry Tortugas, a set of islets beyond the Florida Keys. The current name was bestowed on the islands by Francis Drake in 1536, referring to the local Caribbean name for the crocodile-like creature. Common caiman (Caiman crocodilius). Perhaps as a nod to Coumbus, the coat of arms bears a sea turtle.

What is there to say? Regardless of your animal-rights leanings, alligator and crocodile accessories are a haute-culture status icon. No particular species. It might be faux-codile anyway.

Alligator-style clamps seem to be everywhere, but nowhere more ubiquitous than in the automotive industry. From what I understand, they’re used with batteries or something. Anodes, cathodes, zap, pow, zoom. Again, no particular species. Let’s just say Crocodilia miscellanea this time.

“The Gator Grip Universal Socket is a universal socket that instantly adjusts to grip hex nuts, screw eyes, hooks, lag screws, and bolt heads. It features a wide range of adjustability … [and] the tool’s socket contains 54 hardened steel spring pins for long-lasting durability. When placed onto a fastener, the center pins retract and the outer pins surround the fastener. As the fastener is turned, the torque is transmitted through the outer pins to the walls of the socket, making this socket an ideal choice for heavy-duty personal or professional use.” Ooh, sexy!
Chinese alligator (Alligator sinensis) – because it’s Made in China (well, technically Taiwan).

Crocs shoes. What to say about Crocs? They snuck up on me. Slowly over the course of months I began to notice that these eyesores were on every other person’s feet (it would have been creepier if they were on every person’s other foot, but let’s not go there). At first I didn’t know they had a name, but I learned. I learned to be wary of them, especially after a Crocs retail store opened up just a few blocks from where I work. My only hope is that there’ll be a grass roots backlash against them. Some have pointed out that they can be dangerous on escalators and in hospitals (for building up static and also for leaving toes exposed to falling hypodermic needles). Freshwater crocodile (Crocodilia johnsoni). Disclaimer: I have never worn Crocs shoes so I don’t know how comfortable they may in fact be.

There isn’t a whole lot to say about alligator forceps. Doctors use them for all sorts of things, from surgeries to plucking teensy fish bones from the backs of people’s throats. American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis)

Hostess Chocodiles are, as far as I know, simply chocolate-covered Twinkies. Which is to say that they’re almost as upsetting as Twinkies, except they taste a little bit better but look more like dung. I was under the impression that Chocodiles were an extinct species, but found out in the course of putting this post together that they are still produced in the West Coast (USA) and are only distributed there “for freshness” (hahahahaha). For any of you die-hard East Coast Chocodile fans, there’s a service which will express ship them to you and there’s also a petition to resurrect them locally. Nile crocodile (Crocodilia niloticus); the populations on Madagascar are sometimes called “black crocodiles.” I assume they’re slightly more melanistic.
p.s. If you don’t believe me that Twinkies are scary, check out this recipe for Twinkie Sushi.

British actor Gary Oldman is one of the most versatile actors in the biz. He can completely submerge himself in a role (e.g. “musician” Sid Vicious in Sid & Nancy or playwright Joe Orton in Prick Up Your Ears) or become a ridiculously over-the-top caricature (e.g. the evil villain Zorg in The Fifth Element or a Russian terrorist in Air Force One); but he’s talented enough to pull it off and you believe him at both extremes, as well as everything in between. Gavial, or gharial Gavialis gangeticus. Gharial = “Gary Ol”dman, get it? Yes, I know, it’s a stretch. A big stretch. I felt obligated to include this fourth type of crocodilian for completeness and it was the best I could do.

Finally, as a reward for making it all the way through this post, I present you with the following link: