Dwarf crocodile Facts

Dwarf crocodile Facts
Dwarf crocodile is the smallest species of crocodile in the world. There are 2 subspecies of dwarf crocodile: West African and Congo dwarf crocodile. They inhabit different areas and possess different morphological features and type of behavior. Dwarf crocodile inhabits dense rainforests, swamps, seasonal floodplains and isolated pools in savannah. Number of dwarf crocodile is decreasing due to habitat loss (as a result of increased agriculture, logging and industrialization) and hunting (because of their meat). Dwarf crocodile is listed as vulnerable species (which means that it can become endangered in the near future).
Interesting Dwarf crocodile Facts:
Dwarf crocodile can reach 4.9 feet in length and 40 to 70 pounds of weight. Large specimens can reach 6.2 feet in length.
Backs and lateral sides of the body are black. Belly is yellow and covered with black patches.
Entire body (including the belly) of dwarf crocodile is covered with tough scales. These bony plates serve as armor which provides protection against predators and sun. Dwarf crocodile is also known as bony crocodile because of this unusual shield.
Dwarf crocodile has broad, blunt snout with conical, sharp teeth. Eyes and nostrils are located on top of the snout to enable breathing when crocodile is submerged.
Dwarf crocodile spends most of the time in water. It uses vertically flattened tail to propel itself in the water. Dwarf crocodile is able to move by galloping on the ground.
Dwarf crocodile is nocturnal animal (active during the night).
Dwarf crocodile is a carnivore (meat-eater). Its diet consists of fish and toads during the wet season and crustaceans during the dry season. It occasionally hunts on the land (especially after heavy rainfall).
Dwarf crocodile basks in the sun during the day to increase body temperature and provide energy required for hunt.
Dwarf crocodile digs burrows in the river banks (they usually have underwater entrance) or uses submerged root of the trees as a hiding place.
Predators of adult dwarf crocodiles are large species of crocodiles. Eggs and young animals are often targeted by large birds, reptiles and mammals.
Dwarf crocodile is solitary creature except during the mating season.
Mating season of dwarf crocodile takes place from May to June (during the wet season).
Female lays (usually) 10 eggs in the nest made of decomposing vegetation which produces heat during period of incubation. Eggs hatch after 85 to 105 days. Mother protects the eggs during the incubation period.
Hatchlings produce loud calls at birth. These calls are signal for mother to come and help them escape from the mound and transfer them to the water. Young crocodiles stay with their mother during the first few weeks of their life. Dwarf crocodiles reach sexual maturity at the age of 4 to 5 years.
Dwarf crocodiles can survive 75 years in the wild.

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