The People Who Collect Crocodile Hairballs

Crocodiles eat plenty of other animals. They can digest bones and feathers and meat, but they cannot digest hair, so any fur from a mammal meal just sits inside their digestive systems until they hack it up, and that can be years. The hairballs, or bezoars, can be relatively fresh and hairy, or they could be smooth like a stone if they’ve been tumbled around inside a croc for a long time. One bezoar that was analyzed found hair from flying fox, wild pig, Papuan wild dog, possum, cuscus …and more than one human. John Lever owns a crocodile farm in Queensland, Australia, and says he doesn’t have many hairballs because his crocs are fed meat that has been skinned, but he tells the story about the time he got a deal on rabbit parts, and ended up with clogged plumbing because of the rabbit fur.

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Yes, people actually collect crocodile bezoars. Finding one in the wild is a special time, because you know a crocodile is near. They can be as big as a football, which means the croc is quite huge. There is a drawback in that guests often find them disgusting. Read about the men who collect crocodile hairballs at ABC News Australia. -via Damn Interesting

(Image credit: Mark Norman)

Source: neatorama

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