Dwarf Crocodile (Osteolaemus tetraspis)

Dwarf Crocodile
photo by wikiuser Thesupermat

Common Name:  Dwarf Crocodile and Broad-snouted Crocodile
Scientific Name: Osteolaemus tetraspis
Family: Crocodylidae – Crocodile family
Locations: Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic; Democratic Republic of the Congo, Côte d’Ivoirej, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo
Size: 4.9 feet (1.5 m)

The Dwarf Crocodile is the smallest living crocodile (Cuvier’s Dwarf Caiman (Paleosuchus palpebrosus) is the smallest living crocodilian). They are primarily nocturnal, spending the day hiding in pools or burrows. Their diet mostly consists of invertebrates such as crabs and gastropods. Other part of their diet is filled with frogs and fish. It is reported that they can live to 100 years old.

The crocodile lives in the tropical rain forests and swamps of western Africa. Females lay 10 – 14 eggs early in the wet season (May to June) on mounds they build. Then, the females will stay there to protect their offspring.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List assesses the Dwarf Crocodile as Vulnerable to Extinction. They are over harvested for food and leather. Some areas of the range is threatened by deforestation.