African dwarf crocodile walking on sand dotted with crab grass

African dwarf crocodile

Sized right

Type

lizard

Reptiles

Area

Map of Africa

Africa

Endangered Status

Threatened

facts

size
up to 5 feet
length
The average bed is 6.25 feet long.
African dwarf crocodile next to an average American bed
food
meat, fish,
insects
carnivore
habitat
rain forests,
water
water habitat

description

Close-up of a dwarf crocodile's head, showing its teeth even with its mouth closed

Think small

Just 5 feet long, the African dwarf crocodile is is one of the smallest crocodile species. Rain forests, swamps, and slow-moving rivers of West Africa give it the perfect habitat. This croc looks for food at night and eats mostly small animals like crabs, snails, frogs, and fish.

Dwarf crocodile with mouth wide open sitting on log

In a tree?

African dwarf crocodiles spend most of the day in the water, but if the sun shines, they may slide up onto a log to soak up the sunshine. These crocs can also climb, and they sometimes hang out in the lower branches of trees!

Dwarf crocodile hatching from its egg

Good moms

African dwarf crocodiles are great mothers. After mating, a female lays her eggs in a mound of leaves, to keep them warm. She guards her nest until the eggs hatch, and then watches over her babies.