Dwarf Crocodile (Osteolaemus tetraspis)
The Dwarf Crocodile is a small species of crocodile that is natively found in the rainforests of West Africa. The Dwarf Crocodile is the smallest species of crocodile in the world (reaches approximately two metres in length) and is also one of the most distinctive with a short, broad snout and tough scales that cover their entire black body. These characteristics have led to the Dwarf Crocodile being known by a number of different names including the Broad-Snouted Crocodile, the Bony Crocodile and the Black Crocodile.
The Dwarf Crocodile is a nocturnal and generally solitary animal that hunts for small prey both in the water and on the banks in the dark. It is a cold-blooded animal meaning that it has to sunbathe to warm it's body up to give it the energy to hunt, and enter the water in order to cool it down. When in the water, Dwarf Crocodiles sink their bodies down below the surface so that only their eyes and nostrils are exposed so they are able to hide from potential predators and ambush unsuspecting prey.
Today, the Dwarf Crocodile is listed as being an animal that is Vulnerable in it's natural environment with an estimated 25,000 - 100,000 individuals thought to be left in the wild.
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