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Dwarf crocodile

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Dwarf crocodile
Dwarf crocodile1.jpg
Scientific Classification
Subspecies
West Afirca Dwarf Crocodile
Dwarf Crocodiles6.jpg

The Dwarf Crocodile's scientific name is Osteolaemus Tetraspis. They eat fish, frogs, and other small aquatic animals. They live in West and West Central Africa.[1] Their habitats are freshwater, tropical rainforest, and tropical grasslands. The Dwarf Crocodiles burrow during most of the day. However they come out for hunting during night. While they are hunting, they follow the wall of the river or pool into the forest. When summer comes to their region, they spend a longer time in the land (burrowing in the land). Today they are vulnerable because their habitat has changed from human hunting and development, so they are becoming a vulnerable species, and people are trying to protect the Dwarf Crocodile. However, people do not have a complete understanding of the Dwarf Crocodile, therefore people should concerned about their endangered status. [2]

Anatomy

West African Dwarf Crocodile, Osteolaemus tetraspis, O. t. tetraspis

When Dwarf Crocodiles mature, they usually grows to be 1.5 meters long (5 feet) , but some Dwarf Crocodiles grow to 1.9 meters (6.3 feet). [3] When they become adults, they get black skin on their backs and yellow skin on the sides. As juveniles, they have a lighter brown skin on their body, but their tails and head have yellow patterns. The Dwarf Crocodile has a dull and short snout Their dentition is composed of 4 premaxillary teeth, 12 to 30 on the maxilla and 14 to 15 on the dentary bone.[4] Also they have jaws designed for hunting but their jaws cannot chew and bite prey when they close their mouths because their teeth interlock. Each jaw has 30 to 40 teeth. Crocodiles can move fast on land. [5]

Reproduction

When breeding season comes, (the wet season between May and June) the female Dwarf Crocodile builds her nest to lay eggs. She make her nest near the water so the nest is always wet. When she breeds, she lay up to 20eggs (and at least 10 eggs), after which she has 85-105 incubation days. [6] During this time, the female Dwarf Crocodile protects her nest and the eggs. She always watches her eggs until the eggs hatch. Some young Dwarf Crocodiles that are hatched from eggs go straight to the water, to live on their own, while some stay with their mother Dwarf Crocodile for 2-3 weeks. Some young Dwarf Crocodiles go to live by themselves; they are eaten by other animals like birds, fish, mammals, and reptiles. The young Dwarf Crocodile has a different skin color than adult and juvenile Dwarf Crocodiles. Their backs have a black color and red or yellow cross bands as well as yellow spots on their body.[7]

Ecology

West African Dwarf Crocodile, Osteolaemus tetraspis, O. t. tetraspis

The Dwarf Crocodile lives in West Africa and West Central Africa. The Slender-snouted Crocodile lives in the same region. The Dwarf Crocodile has two subspecies which are O. T. tetraspis, and O. T. osborni. Most subspecies O. T. tetraspis live in West Africa and the subspecies O. T. osborni live in Congo's.[8] The Dwarf Crocodile has special habitats such as freshwater, tropical rainforest, and tropical grasslands. They burrow during most of the day. But they come out for hunting during the night. Today, they are being threatened with extinction, also, many Crocodiles are hunted by people. People want for crocodile skins which can be made into shoes, handbags, and many other things. Also the Dwarf Crocodiles have lost their habitat, because people have developed their habitat. Today, many animals, which are live in the forest, and endangered. some people are trying to protect the Dwarf Crocodile and make increase their population. However, people do not have enough information on the Dwarf Crocodile and worker. Therefore people have to be concerned. [9]

Eye and Skin

The Dwarf Crocodile has two eyes on their heads. These eyes help them hunt because the eyes can see above the water and same time their body can stay under the water. [10]They also have special skin and very hard scales. their skin is very hard so it looks like armor and it help to protect them any attack. Their skin is an advantage for hunting because When they are hunting for prey, they tear the prey, and chew it and swallow them. If they hunt small prey, they just swallow them whole. Usually the Dwarf Crocodile lives in the water however sometimes they go on the land by sliding and they use their bellies as well as using their legs. When Adult Dwarf Crocodile go on the land, they can stay on the land for over an hour without breathing. [11]

Gallery

References