The Western African Crocodile is often confused with the larger and more aggressive Nile Crocodile. While the two are distant cousins, there are variations worth denoting between these two species of crocodiles. The Western African Crocodile actually became the topic of numerous studies by specialists which determined that it’s more akin to the crocodiles found in Asian countries, and has the most in common with the Philippine crocodile and the closest relative to the Nile Crocodile is the crocodiles found in the Americas. The West African crocodile inhabits much of the western and central regions of Africa, ranging from South Sudan and Uganda, and south to the DRC. Other regions of the crocodile can include Mauritania, Liberia, Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon, Chad, Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Mali, Gambia, Burkina Faso, Gabon, Togo, Ivory Coast and Republic of Congo. Due to its far stretching regions of habitation it has been known to develop an adaptation to living in every sort of climate from semi arid to arid and forested areas. It has even been known to reside in caves in very dry climates which has garnered it the nickname desert crocodile. When compared with its distant cousin the Nile crocodile, the western African crocodile is smaller and typically does not attack humans. In Mauritania the people who live in close proximity to the crocodiles protect them from harm, believing that if the crocodiles were to leave the waterways and bodies of water that the water itself would dry up as the two are dependent on each other for survival. The crocodiles here never attack swimmers, even when they swim in close proximity to the crocodiles.

Courtesy of Travis Baker/Flickr