The Dwarf Crocodile (Osteolaemus tetraspis) is a reptile in the Crocodylidae family and the Crocodilia order. It is also known as the African Dwarf Crocodile, the Broad-Snouted Crocodile, or the Bony Crocodile.
The Dwarf Crocodile is dark on its back and sides. Its underbelly is yellowish with black patches. It is heavily armoured around its neck, back, and tail. The back of its neck has four large, shield-like scales. It has a blunt, short snout (nose).
It is the smallest crocodile species in the world. It measures about 150 centimetres (59 inches) in length.
The Dwarf Crocodile is native to tropical regions of west Africa and central Africa. It prefers lowlands and mid-altitude streams, small rivers, swamps, pools, mangroves, and wetlands.
It is mainly nocturnal, active at night.
The Dwarf Crocodile eats fish, crabs, frogs, snails, insects, lizards, birds, bats, and shrews.
It is solitary.
It makes a nest of wet vegetation near water. The female lays about 10 eggs, which hatch after 85-105 days. Females guard the nest and looks after her young after they hatch.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM