West African Crocodile
Scientific Name: Crocodylus suchus
Common Names: West African Crocodile
Maximum adult length: 2.5 – 4m
NB: Exceptionally large specimens can be found in all species of crocodilian.
The Nile crocodile was long thought to be the ‘big’ croc species found across Africa. Only recently has it become apparent through genetic analysis that the population to the West and into Central Africa is actually a different species: the West African Crocodile. This species also attains a large size and has a very similar lifestyle to the Nile crocodile. This species, interestingly, is the one that is found in several of the sacred pools in Africa where the crocodiles are worshipped by local peoples. Similarly, this species was more likely to be the one preserved in a mummified state by the ancient Egyptians and their crocodile culture! It has a different number of chromosomes to the Nile crocodile, so the separation of the two species was warranted.