Reptile Pile: Crocodilian Hunt

Crocodilians are large, predatory semi-aquatic reptiles. They’ve been kicking around for 95 million years, and their closest relatives are actually birds! Human depictions of crocodilians in art and literature have been around since Ancient Egyptian times.

Crocodilians are defined by their long, flat snouts, facial features that sit on top of the head, big smiles, and rows of non-overlapping scales. Having their eyes, ears and nostrils on top of their heads is not just for beauty! These features allow them to keep their bodies hidden under the water while they search for prey.

Crocodilians main claim to fame is their powerful jaws. Though they have relatively weak muscles that open their jaws, they have an extremely forceful bite, due to powerful muscles that close the jaw. A saltwater crocodile’s bite was measured at 3,700 pounds of force!

They are also polyphyodonts, meaning that they can replace their teeth many times over. They can replace each tooth up to 50 times during their lives!

Surprisingly, despite their reputations as powerful hunters, unlike snakes, not all crocodilians are pure carnivores! Though they do rely on a heavily meat-based diet, various species have been observed feasting on berries, legumes, nuts, and grains.

Crocodilians also have an interesting respiratory system, which closely resembles that of their feathered relatives. Like birds, inhaled air moves in a unidirectional loop through their lungs. Crocs actually do a lot with their lungs!They can inflate or deflate them for more or less bouyancy in the water, and can move the lungs’ position within their bodies to help assist in their movement without alerting prey. They can also spin and twist by moving their lungs sideways. Weird!

There are currently 28 species of crocodilians, ranging across 5 continents – The Americas, Africa, Asia, and Australia. These include alligators, crocodiles, caimans, the gharial and false gharial.

Hopefully you’ve been taking notes from your favorite toothy pals, and are ready to get on the hunt! Use your powerful jaws to snap away those mergers. Don’t leave any behind! There are 12 mergers in the Hunt cell; you have 5.5 days and 24 guesses to locate them all, between midnight ET on 8/20 and noon ET on 8/25.

How to identify and report mergers

    1. Select Hunt cell from Change Cell menu. Stay in the overview.
    2. Type /debug into chat. This will reveal a special box with information about the cell (located above the “Start Playing” box).
    3. Use ALT+click to select the origin point of the merger you have identified. It is a good idea to zoom in close on the merger before you select it to get the most accurate coordinates.
    4. Find the coordinates of the merger’s origin in the cell information box. These are next to the word “center.”
    5. In the chat pm thehunt bot your coordinates. For example: /pm thehunt 5123 4321 5678.
    6. thehunt bot will let you know if you got it right or wrong and tell you how many guesses you have left.
    7. To check how many mergers you have found and to check what guesses you have submitted, type “/pm thehunt !list”; the bot will give you a list of all the coordinates you have guessed, and whether or not there was a merger at each set of coordinates. A + means there was a merger there, a means there was not a merger there.
    8. If you accidentally submit the same coordinate a second time, it does not count as two guesses.

Do not reveal your coordinates to other players. Do not do anything against the spirit of the Hunt. Anyone caught cheating will be automatically disqualified from the event and will not receive any points.

Proximity to merger start point is determined by number of voxels (1 voxel = approx. 1/250th of a cube’s width). Mergers are only counted as found if guessed within a distance of 250 voxels. Pieces of dust floating in space don’t count as mergers, so please don’t report them! We also do not count fused mergers that could not be removed during the Hunt prep process.

Swag: The top scoring player will win a mug, plus a sticker/magnet set! Second and third place will each also win a sticker/magnet set.

Bonus info is available in your in-game notifications. Good luck, and happy hunting!