A heavily armored, small crocodile which reaches a maximum length of 6.5 feet. They have a short snout, and the upper eyelid is almost completely ossified. This is a timid, slow moving, nocturnal animal which, as an adult is usually solitary. Although it usually feeds in water it apparently spends a lot of time on land, and it inhabits holes excavated in the banks of streams.
Class: Reptile (Reptilia)
Range: West and west central Africa including Sierra Leone, Guinea, Ghana, Togo, Nigeria, Cameroons, Gabon, Liberia and Angola
Habitat: Swamps and swamp forests; slow moving, calm bodies of water
Wild Diet: Fish, frogs and crustaceans
Zoo Diet: Large mice or small rats once or twice a week depending upon appetite
This is a timid, slow moving, nocturnal animal which, as an adult is usually solitary. Although it usually feeds in water it apparently spends a lot of time on land, and it inhabits holes excavated in the banks of streams. In forested areas they are known to make extensive nocturnal forays on land, especially after rains, but the purpose of these trips is not fully understood.
Females are mound-nesters, constructing a nest that is approximately 5 feet in diameter. The eggs are laid early in the wet season. Newly laid eggs are semitransparent and a yellowish color. One day after laying they begin to exhibit a narrow white band which expands with time to give the whole egg a milky white appearance. Hatching may take up to a week after the first crack appears. Females are good mothers, guarding the eggs in carefully constructed nests. Hatchlings are 8-12 inches long and weigh about 1 3/4 oz. After hatching the young remain with the mother for several weeks.
Gestation: Incubation: 85-105 days
Litter: Clutch Size: 16-30 eggs