The dwarf crocodile is one of the world's smallest crocodiles, growing up to only 190cm in length (by contrast, the Nile crocodile can reach 5m in length). It can be found alone or in pairs in burrows near the water's edge.
Dwarf crocodiles are carnivores and eat fish, frogs and crustaceans. In the Zoo, they are given fish, rats or mice which are already dead and live locusts.
These crocodiles are found in freshwater pools, tropical rain forests or wet grasslands in central and western Africa. They hide in burrows and submerged tree roots during the day and become active at night.
Dwarf crocodiles are threatened by habitat change and hunting, which is why they are classified as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Dwarf crocodiles may be locally abundant in some countries such as Cameroon but not in others such as Gambia.
Dwarf crocodiles are a EAZA European Studbook species (ESB), and Bristol Zoo works hard together with other European zoos to continue the population of dwarf crocodiles in human care.
As with all crocodiles, the dwarf crocodile's impressive jaws are designed to close on prey with maximum force, but the dwarf crocodile cannot chew or bite pieces off their prey.
You can find our dwarf crocodiles in the Reptile House, near Twilight World and the Aquarium
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