Dwarf crocodiles Come and visit one of the smallest crocodiles in the world
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Type reptile
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Length 190cm
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Weight 32kg
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Diet carnivore

Dwarf crocodile

Osteolaemus tetraspis
  • Summary

    The dwarf crocodile is one of the world's smallest crocodiles, growing up to only 190cm in length (by contrast, the Nile crocodile can reach 5m in length). It can be found alone or in pairs in burrows near the water's edge.

  • Dietary

    Dwarf crocodiles are carnivores and eat fish, frogs and crustaceans. In the Zoo, they are given fish, rats or mice which are already dead and live locusts.

  • Habitat

    These crocodiles are found in freshwater pools, tropical rain forests or wet grasslands in central and western Africa. They hide in burrows and submerged tree roots during the day and become active at night.

    species range map

  • Conservation

    Dwarf crocodiles are threatened by habitat change and hunting, which is why they are classified as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Dwarf crocodiles may be locally abundant in some countries such as Cameroon but not in others such as Gambia.

    Dwarf crocodiles are a EAZA European Studbook species (ESB), and Bristol Zoo works hard together with other European zoos to continue the population of dwarf crocodiles in human care.

    Red List Status Vulnerable

    Red List Status Vulnerable

    IUCN Red List species link

  • Did you know...

    As with all crocodiles, the dwarf crocodile's impressive jaws are designed to close on prey with maximum force, but the dwarf crocodile cannot chew or bite pieces off their prey.

  • Where to find us at Bristol Zoo

    You can find our dwarf crocodiles in the Reptile House, near Twilight World and the Aquarium

    Bristol Zoo Gardens map with Reptile House

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