Friday, November 11, 2011

African Dwarf Crocodile Species

There are 23 species of crocodilians in the world. Usually, we think of these reptiles as being all the same; big head, short legs, many teeth and an eternal appetite for whatever unfortunate creature falls into their reach (humans included). Although it is true that modern day crocodilians share a very similar basic design, each species is really unique, and has its own interesting traits. This list features the least “mainstream” crocodilians, often overshadowed by their more famous relatives, including the Nile crocodile, the Saltwater crocodile and the American alligator.
Such as this African Dwarf Crocodile Species. this exotic Crocodllians was Found in the tropical rivers and swamps of western and central Africa, this is the smallest true crocodile species; it measures only 1.5 meters (4.92′) long (rarely 1.8 meters – 5.90′) and is a shy predator that feeds on insects, frogs, fish and whatever carrion it can find. It is not dangerous to humans unless harassed (although a female protecting her nest will attack any intruders, as do almost all crocodilians). They lives in West Africa and West Central Africa in swamps, slow-moving rivers, lakes, and marshes.
The African Dwarf Crocodile (Osteolaemus tetraspis) is among the smallest of crocodiles. Because of their small size, they are slower moving than other crocodiles but are no less aggressive. They are heavily armored with scales traveling up their neck, back, and tail. Adults are uniformly dark in color, while juveniles are a lighter brown color. The tip of the snout is turned upright.
An interesting physical trait is that they are not only armored on the back, as usual in crocodilians, but also in the belly and the throat. This may be a defensive adaptation to compensate for their small size, which makes them more vulnerable to predators such as leopards. These little crocs dig burrows in the riverbank and only come out of said burrows at night; this makes them very hard to see and study, and therefore, we don’t know a lot about this interesting species. Some experts believe that there may be more than just one species of dwarf crocodile. Although bush meat trade (the hunting of wild animals for their meat) and habitat destruction have caused a decline in Dwarf crocodile populations, they are not considered to be as highly endangered as other crocodilians. 

This is the video of African Dwarf Crocodile Species.

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