Dwarf Crocodile

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Dwarf Crocodile, Osteolaemus tetraspis, is a small species of crocodile with a short, broad snout and tough scales that cover their entire black body. They have a body length between 1.7 and 1.9 m and they weigh between 18 and 32 kg. Like all other members of its genus, this crocodilian species is an effective aquatic predator. They live in smaller bodies of water throughout West Africa and feed on a wide range of prey, including fish, crustaceans and amphibians. In Nigeria, the nominate subspecies is found in small numbers all over the country but in the bordering north, where occurrence is not observed. They are by far the most traded crocodile species in the country.

Dwarf crocodile become sexually mature when they are about 5 to 6 years old. Several weeks after mating, the female builds a nest from leaf litter where she lays five to 15 eggs. It is usually in an inconspicuous area, near water but beyond danger of flooding. Incubation takes approximately 85 – 105 days. Dwarf Crocodiles have a life expectancy of 75 years.

Tope Apoola
Profession: Writer