African slender-snouted Crocodile

(Crocodylus cataphractus)


African slender-snouted Crocodile IUCN CRITICALLY ENDANGERED (CR)


Facts about this animal

The snout of this Crocodile is very long and slender, 2.5 to 3.5 times as long as broad at the level of the front corners of the eyes; at least 5 times as long as broad at the level of the nasal swelling. The surface is smooth, without bony ridges or unpaired elevated areas in front of the eyes. The upper body surface is dark olive in old animals and somewhat lighter and with dark blotches in young ones. The lower surface is light and with dark blotches, at least on both sides. There are large dark blotches or nearly uniformly black ones on the surface of the tail. Juveniles as well as adults have 4 to 5 dark blotches on each side of the lower jaw. The iris is bronzy brownish. The African slender-snouted Crocodile can grow up to a length of 4.2 m, but is usually about 2.5 m.

The slender-snouted crocodile is a highly aquatic species and is found primarily in river habitats with dense vegetation cover. It can also be found in large lakes. The main bulk of their diet is fish, they hunt by swimming parallel to the river bank, curving their tail and trapping the fish in the shallows. Younger crocs tend to feed on invertebrates, whereas older individuals will feed on crabs, shrimps, frogs, fish, birds and small mammals.

Did you know?
that slender-snouted crocodiles have 64-70 teeth in total?


Name (Scientific) Crocodylus cataphractus
Name (English) African slender-snouted Crocodile
Name (French) Crocodile à museau allongé d Afrique
Name (German) Panzerkrokodil
Name (Spanish) Cocodrilo hociquifino africano
CITES Status Appendix I
CMS Status Not listed



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Range Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Gambia (ex?), Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau (ex?), Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Nigeria, Senegal (ex?), Sierra Leone, Togo, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia
Habitat Riverine areas, lakes and ponds with dense vegetation
Wild population Largely unknown, due to the lack of data. Inded little is known about its status and way of living in nature. Since its skin is strongly ossified it cannot be used commercially, which excludes ranching projects that could contribute to he conservation of the species. Main threat today is the bushmeat trade.
Zoo population 47 reported to ISIS

In the Zoo

African slender-snouted Crocodile


How this animal should be transported

For air transport, Container Note 42 of the IATA Live Animals Regulations should be followed.


Find this animal on ZooLex


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Why do zoos keep this animal

As an inhabitant of the rainy forest C. cataphractus represents a keystone species for this habitat, with educational potential. It is also an interesting crocodilian due to its reproductive behaviour (it builds a hill-nest from plant material). Although breeding has been recorded in zoos, C. cataphractus is kept however only occasionally.