Since the age of the dinosaurs, crocodiles have been around and are more fascinating than most people give them credit for. Many species are social and unlike other reptiles crocodiles will guard nests, help the young crocodiles out of the nest and even defend their young. The sounds crocodiles make terrified early travellers and still puzzle scientists today. The Dwarf crocodile is one of the smallest species alive today, growing to 1.5m (5ft), although during the age of the dinosaurs some crocodiles grew as large as 15m (50ft). Crocodiles are considered dangerous animals and are highly respected in many cultures, sometimes even being looked upon as gods.
The crocodile is of very little threat to people, spending most of its time hunting in slow moving rainforest rivers or pools for fish, frogs and other small animals, and when it is not hunting it is either resting on the river bank or in burrows. People present the biggest threat to this species, mainly by hunting and destroying rainforests.
Dwarf crocodiles, luckily, do not make very good shoes, so dwarf crocodiles are not hunted for their skins as are many species. Instead Dwarf crocodiles form part of the bushmeat trade, in which native rainforest animals are hunted for their meat to sell at market or eat locally. The trade in bushmeat is growing and threatening many species with extinction.
Continued rainforest destruction and the bushmeat trade threaten the Dwarf Crocodile’s long term survival.
Learn more … Gentle parents: African dwarf crocodiles
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