West African Dwarf Crocodile

Osteolaemus tetraspis

Did you know?

West African Dwarf Crocodiles are one of the most terrestrial crocodilians, and will often be found amongst the forest floor.  As their name suggests, they’re relatively small, growing up to 1.8 metres (5.9 feet). Their bodies are covered in heavily armoured scales infused with bone joined together with tough tissue making their skin profoundly reinforced and difficult to penetrate.

Home: Central and Western Africa.

Lifestyle: Solitary, terrestrial, and nocturnal, residing amongst swamps and swamp forests. They’re primarily found amongst the leaf litter, occasionally in pools of water or burrows on the water’s edge.

Diet: They’re stealth hunters and can detect vibrations and movement when subsurface vision is poor, feeding on fish, crustaceans, amphibians.

Young: Females construct mound nests using leaf litter and will lay around 10 eggs, which females guard aggressively, and once hatched she will carry the offspring to the water and guard them for several more months.

Lifespan: 70-100 years.

Conservation Status: Vulnerable, regularly harvested as ‘bushmeat’ these animals are being eaten towards extinction across much of their range.

Breeding Programme: This species is part of EAZA’s European Breeding Programme.

Animal Profiles

House Name La Coste
Age 22 years old (1995)
Sex Male
Place of Birth La Ferme Aux Crocodiles, France
Arrival at DMP May 2014 from La Ferme
Personal Fact Likes keeping guard of his terrority.


House Name Malaika
Age 26 years old (1990)
Sex Female
Place of Birth Parc Zoologic de Barcelona
Arrival at DMP Mach 2005 from Chester Zoo
Personal Fact Enjoys basking by the window.








West African Dwarf Crocodile