These behaviors, recently reported by Dinets in the journal Ethology, Ecology and Evolution, include large group behavior - such as 60 American alligators who cornered a school of fish in shallow water, for instance - and smaller ambushes, like the crocodile who scared a pig off a mudflat trail and into the waiting jaws of two other crocs.
Dinets says the reports "prove what croc researchers and native people have known all along: crocs and gators are smart, cunning, very effective predators." (Gator brains also pack more computing power per volume than those of mammals or birds.) He points to the works of Rudyard Kipling, for example, who wrote about crafty crocodiles a hundred years ago.
That crocodiles and alligators are actually collaborating, however, is less certain. As Dinets writes in the study: "Was it really mutual cooperation, or were some animals simply snatching prey that was being pursued by others?"
The answer, he writes, will ultimately require more observation in an area of research that's both young and takes place "in often unpleasant field conditions (to put it mildly)." But it's also a field ripe for new discovery. These species are more socially complex than history has given credit - like the fact that baby crocodiles "chat" with their moms.