RESEARCH: Crocodile tears are true – reptiles and birds can cry

Animal evolutionary researchers have found that reptiles and birds cry similar tears to humans.

Researchers in Brazil, at the Federal University of Bahia in Salvador, published their new study in Frontiers in Veterinary Sciencein 2020.

They collected samples of the tears of captive healthy animals in conservation centres. The tears were from seven species of reptiles and birds. The reptiles included tortoises, caiman lizards, and sea turtles. The birds included macaws, hawks, owls, and parrots.

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Cheetah 

The Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) is a large feline, a wild cat. It is a mammal.

The Cheetah is tawny-coloured with clear solid round and oval black spots and with a white underbelly. Its spots are on its fur and also on its skin. It is a ‘sway-backed’ cat with a thin waist, and long legs. Its head is rounded and small, with a unique black ‘tear’ stain below each eye. It has dog-like feet with blunt claws that cannot retract – their claws cannot go in and out; the claws are always visible. Its tail is long and spotted, with several closely-spaced black rings near the end. It has short, thin whiskers.

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