What do alligators, crocodiles, and cayman represent?

I was sitting here this morning, trying to come up with a quick article idea, and for some reason, reptiles popped into my head.  I have a bearded dragon, and I've seen all three of the reptiles mentioned in the title (alligators, crocodiles, caymans) in the wild.  

These animals are all “living fossils,” but you shouldn't mistake them as being old, or slow, or worn out.  These guys may have lived with the dinosaurs, but there's a reason that they're still around, and the dinosaurs are long gone: these reptiles are way cooler.

These are predators.  They're born predators, and they die often ruling their ecosystems.  As babies, they sometimes become victim to larger predators at the time, like birds, but they'll spend their next thirty or fifty years having birds for lunchtime snacks.  

Reptiles are so… stoic.  If you wanted to aspect an alligator (meditate on them and try to adapt their characteristics), I would focus on the alligator stare.  Seriously, it's worse than a cat stare.  When a reptile is staring at you, you have no idea what's going on in it's pea-sized brain.  You don't know if it's fantasizing about the last meal it had, enjoying the sun, or just contemplating whether or not to rip you to pieces.  Well, drag you into the water and drown you, then leave your body under a log, underwater, for a few days… to soften up.  

So, when you think, “reptile that kills in the water” … think of these guys.  Think of their perseverance through the years — they're the closest representation of the living ancient world that we have.  What a beautiful thing.

Here's a baby cayman I photographed in 2008 — this guy is probably a beauty now.Image

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