West African Dwarf crocodile in exhibit

West African Dwarf Crocodile

Scientific Name
Osteolaemus tetraspis
West Africa and west Central Africa
Tropical forests
Estimated Wild Population
West African dwarf crocodile in exhibit Endangered Status Graph - Vulnerable Endangered Status Graph - Vulnerable

More Information

West African dwarf crocodiles are uniformly dark in color and have brown eyes. These slow moving, timid creatures have heavily armored bodies covered in bony, plated scales from head to tail. They can grow to a length of five and a half feet and weigh 70 pounds. Aquatic and nocturnal, they feed on crabs, frogs, fish, and, occasionally, small mammals that wander into the water. Dwarf crocodiles lay approximately 20 eggs at a time in nest mounds made of vegetation.

Did You Know?

West African dwarf crocodiles can live for 100 years.

Their eyes have a transparent membrane and are placed high on their head, allowing them to see above the water while mostly submerged.

They are some of the smallest living crocodiles in the world.

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