Dwarf Crocodile

Dwarf Crocodile

Dwarf Crocodile Range Map (W & C Africa)
Dwarf Crocodile Range Map (W & C Africa)

Latin Name Osteolaemus tetraspis
Conservation Status Vulnerable
Location Africa
Colour Black
Length 1.7 - 1.9 m (5.5 - 6.25 ft)
Weight 18 - 32 Kgs (40 - 70 lbs)


Main Characteristics

Dwarf Crocodiles are the smallest species of crocodile. They have a body length between 1.7 and 1.9 m (5.5 - 6.25 ft) and they weigh between 18 and 32 kgs (40 - 70 lbs).

Adults are black with a yellowish underside with black patches. Juveniles are black with lighter banding on their body and tail.


Dwarf Crocodiles can be found in permanent pools and swamps in the rainforests of western and central Africa. They hide in burrows or submerged tree roots during the day and they are active at night.


Dwarf Crocodiles mainly feed on fish, crustaceans, frogs and toads.


Dwarf Crocodiles lay approximately 10 eggs in a mound of soil and vegetation. The female guards the eggs during incubation and protects her newly hatched young in the water.


Humans are predators of adult Dwarf Crocodiles but birds, mongooses and other crocodiles will prey upon their eggs and young.


Subspecies of the Dwarf Crocodile include:

West African Dwarf Crocodile
(Osteolaemus tetraspis tetraspis)

Congo or Osborn's Dwarf Crocodile
(Osteolaemus tetraspis osborni)

Interesting Facts

Dwarf Crocodiles are also known as:
African Broad-Nosed Crocodile
African Caiman
African Dwarf Crocodile
Black Crocodile
Bony Crocodile
Broad-Snouted Crocodile
Rough-Backed Crocodile
West African Dwarf Crocodile

Dwarf Crocodiles have a life expectancy of 75 years.

Similar Animals

Nile Crocodile
Spectacled Caiman
Yacare Caiman


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