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Dwarf Crocodile (Osteolaemus
tetraspis osborni), Family Crocodylidae
Credit & Copyright: Dr. Bruce G. Marcot
Explanation: Yesterday, we hiked six miles into the Congo River Basin rainforests from where we left our dugout canoes along a remote channel offshoot of Lake Tumba. We are visiting the village of Botuali, and are suddenly met with excited shouts.
Someone in the village has captured a dwarf crocodile, and has brought it, bound for its safety and ours, back to our hut for display.
Dwarf crocodiles are one of the most unusual species of its crocodilian family, usually growing to just 1-1.3 m (about 3-4 feet) long.
This is a species of central tropical Africa, residing in static or slow-moving swamp waters. It is largely nocturnal and feeds on frogs and crabs.
Although it can lay up to 20 eggs at a time, it is widely hunted for bushmeat and has become endangered.
Next week's picture: Living Gold of a Rainforest Frog
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