African Dwarf Crocodile
Facts about this animal
The African dwarf crocodile has a very short snout, about 1 to 1.3 times as long as broad at the level of the front corners of the eyes. The surface is smooth, without noticeable elevations in front of the eyes. The upper eyelid is completely ossified and its surface smooth. The colour of the upper body surface is uniformly black in adults, and brownish and with dark crossbands in young specimens. The lower surface is light with dark blotches or uniformly black. The iris is brownish. It can grow up to a length of 2.3 m, but is usually about 1.5 m.
Did you know?
that the skin of dwarf crocodiles is considered to be of very poor quality, and consequently hunting pressure has been low? Actually, most reports indicate that the species is in no immediate danger throughout most of its range. In a few areas (particularly Gambia and Liberia), the local populations is, however, thought to be severely depleted and in danger of local extinction.
|Name (Scientific)||Osteolaemus tetraspis|
|Name (English)||African Dwarf Crocodile|
|Name (French)||Crocodile nain|
|Name (Spanish)||Cocodrilo chico africano|
|CITES Status||Appendix I|
|CMS Status||Not listed|
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|Habitat||In swamps and areas of slow-moving freshwater|
|Wild population||Approx. < 25'000-100'000|
|Zoo population||203 reported to ISIS (2005)|
In the Zoo
How this animal should be transported
For air transport, Container Note 42 of the IATA Live Animals Regulations should be followed.
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Why do zoos keep this animal
The African dwarf crocodile is rated vulnerable by IUCN and is listed on Appendix I of CITES. Several zoo associations therefore have initiated coordinated breeding programmes with a view of maintaining a viable ex situ population of this species. Zoos keep the African dwarf crocodile also for educational purposes and as an ambassador species for their threatened West and Central African humid forest habitats. It is a small species and can be nicely presented to the public also by small zoos with a limited budget.