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Old 20 August 2009, 08:56 PM
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Alligator Hikers and bikers, keep right

This one is circulating with two purported locations; either "somewhere in Florida" or on the road into Darwin, Australia.

Comment: The alligators on the side of the road all appear to be missing their tails, so I am wondering if they are alive or were perhaps put there by someone. Could they survive (as lizards do) if they lost their tails?


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  #2  
Old 20 August 2009, 09:00 PM
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Isn't the sign on the wrong side of the road for Australia?
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Old 20 August 2009, 09:17 PM
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The letters on the sign look fake. The alligators look real and alive, I really can't see enough detail to even tell that they are all alligators, though. One of them looks like it could be a blown out tire.
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Old 20 August 2009, 09:23 PM
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I don't know what the correspondent is thinking in saying they have lost their tails. They seem to be facing the water - that's what the leg shows, anyway, and there is a long tail between the rear legs and the road. The part ahead of the front legs is not so long, but it shouldn't be as the heads are large but not tail-large in crocodilians.

And they would be hard put to survive without tails. They do not shed tham as many lizards can (they are most definitely not lizards - in fact, they are probably more closely related to us than to lizards, depending on how you rate closeness of relation). And their tails are critical to their hunting - they lie in wait or slowly swim up to prey (using their tails) and then make a burst of speed to pounce which relies as much on their tails as their legs, particularly if they are in the water.
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Old 20 August 2009, 09:55 PM
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Here's a similar pic, with a gator on the road.
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3650/...48f5f620fb.jpg
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Old 21 August 2009, 07:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by videoguy View Post
Here's a similar pic, with a gator on the road.
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3650/...48f5f620fb.jpg
It's the same pic with the additional crock and warning sign photoshopped in.
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  #7  
Old 21 August 2009, 03:18 PM
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Is a bike not considered a vehicle in either Florida or Australia?
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Old 21 August 2009, 03:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Floater View Post
It's the same pic with the additional crock and warning sign photoshopped in.
That one is definitely a croc, too. I am pretty sure the rest are gators, but it is hard to be positive without seeing a better shot of the head.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joostik View Post
Is a bike not considered a vehicle in either Florida or Australia?
I don't know about Australia, but in Florida it is. However, on long stretches of road bikes are required to move out of the way of faster vehicles, because impeding the flow of traffic is an offense no matter what vehicle you are in. It is just not common enough that cars are traveling that much slower than the flow of traffic to make it worth putting on the sign.

I will say, I think the picture is Florida; Alligator Alley, to be exact. Either one of the sections close to the end (either end) or an old pic, though, because there is not much in the way of fence, and a while back they put up some heavy-duty fences with tunnels under the road for animal passage along most of the length.
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Old 21 August 2009, 03:48 PM
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Here it is, with the letters looking less sketchy, in the Telegraph.
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  #10  
Old 22 August 2009, 02:23 PM
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Yep on the wrong side and the wrong colour for any sort of official road sign except those marking tourist routes or points of interest.

For example.
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  #11  
Old 22 August 2009, 03:00 PM
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Edit window passed.

But I think I found it. It's a motifake
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  #12  
Old 22 August 2009, 03:05 PM
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To me the sign looks fake. granted i've never been to florida, but every roadsign i've seen in my life, has used a non-serif font. this is for multiple reasons, easier to read quickly, clearer text, and easier to paint on with less chance of paint chipping and peeling off letters. some signs have the letters as vinyl which a serif would be a good point to start peeling or curling.

the font of roadsigns became an interest of mine since within the past few years Alberta changed the font on the new signs, to make it easier to read, and to me it looks silly... i prefered the older font. Now as I've never been to Florida, I'm not sure if they allow serif fonts on road signs. but it strikes me as odd to see that kind of font on a roadsign.
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Old 22 August 2009, 05:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FullMetal View Post
To me the sign looks fake. granted i've never been to florida, but every roadsign i've seen in my life, has used a non-serif font. this is for multiple reasons, easier to read quickly, clearer text, and easier to paint on with less chance of paint chipping and peeling off letters. some signs have the letters as vinyl which a serif would be a good point to start peeling or curling.

the font of roadsigns became an interest of mine since within the past few years Alberta changed the font on the new signs, to make it easier to read, and to me it looks silly... i prefered the older font. Now as I've never been to Florida, I'm not sure if they allow serif fonts on road signs. but it strikes me as odd to see that kind of font on a roadsign.
Assuming it's in Everglades National Park, other images of signs from the Park seem to be in both serif and sans serif fonts:

http://www.fotosearch.com/UNZ423/u10055979/

http://www.ghosttowns.com/states/fl/snakebight.html

The white and brown color scheme is, I think, for informational signs, not for signs ordering an action though. Maybe all National Park signs are different--I don't know.

In the OP photo, the sign definitely looks sketchy, but I can't tell if it's from compression artifacts or what. It seems like the text isn't quite lined up correctly with the angle of the sign, but I can't really tell. Also, most signs of this type have rounded corners (see examples above) but again, that is not really dispositive.

erwins
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  #14  
Old 23 August 2009, 01:36 AM
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The colors are correct for Florida park signs, but the font is unusual. Informational signs at natural areas are sometime in lower case serif fonts, but the left-alignment (instead of center or full justification) along with the font on this sign just makes it look really odd. I'm not saying it's necessarily fake, but it's not a normal style seen in Florida parks or wildlife refuges. I've never seen this type of sign before; generally it will just say "vehicles have right of way" or have a pictogram indicating who needs to keep to the right.

The rest of the photo, however, is quite legit, and I'm not sure why the person in the OP thinks the alligators are missing their tails.
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  #15  
Old 23 August 2009, 01:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cervus View Post
The rest of the photo, however, is quite legit, and I'm not sure why the person in the OP thinks the alligators are missing their tails.
I think it is the way the one in the front has it curled. If you are familiar with gators this doesn't look odd at all, but if you weren't, maybe you would expect to see them sticking straight out behind?

Whether the sign is real or not, it is plausible. Slower vehicles do have to give way on Alligator Alley, and before the big fence was put up (and along some of the unfenced areas now) alligators were quite common to see alongside the road, or in the road for that matter.

It also seems much more dangerous than actuality. The odds of a car passing during the time you have to pass the stretch of alligators is quite small; if one did you would just wait for it to pass you first, then go as far around the gators as you needed to. The ones that far removed from people have not been acclimatized to them, and wouldn't attack something as big as a person that far from the water. (They likely wouldn't in the water, unless they had been fed and had gotten the idea that humans mean food. Alligators are not aggressive at all, really.)
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