Unless you’ve been on a tropical getaway for the past month, you probably noticed that the
Woodland Park Zoo’s male dwarf crocodile almost fully submerged on exhibit. Photo by Alex Monopolis.
Dwarf crocodile camouflaged on exhibit at Woodland Park Zoo’s Day Exhibit. Photo by Kirsten Pisto/Woodland Park Zoo.
Woodland Park Zoo houses two beautiful West African dwarf crocodiles—a pair, male and female. Staying true to their timid behavior, our dwarf crocs have not revealed their names to us. In fact, their toothy grins seem to be hiding more than a few secrets. Did you know that a crocodile can go through about 3,000 teeth in its lifetime? Crocs use their chompers to catch and bite their prey, so they can’t afford to have any toothy mishaps. Instead of simply falling out, each tooth is hollow, and allows a new tooth to grow inside the older tooth. This way, when one tooth gets pulled out, there is a brand new tooth ready to go where the old one was lost. And that famous crocodile smile? It’s due to the fact that most of their teeth sit outside their mouth.
Woodland Park Zoo’s female dwarf crocodile shows her teeth. Photo by Dennis Dow/Woodland Park Zoo.
Close up of male dwarf crocodile. Photo by Dennis Dow/Woodland Park Zoo.
The male dwarf crocodile, seen here, is considerably larger than the female on exhibit. Photo by Kirsten Pisto/Woodland Park Zoo.
A dwarf crocodile tail. Photo by
Like most of the 23 species of crocodiles, both dwarf crocodile subspecies are endangered due to overhunting, persecution and habitat deconstruction. Learn more about these incredible reptiles and how you can help protect them.
Dwarf crocodile in water. Photo by Mat Hayward/Woodland Park Zoo.
The next time your rain gauge overflows and the puddles begin to take over the streets, head over to our Day Exhibit (where it is always nice and warm!) and say hello to our resident crocs. They will be waiting for you!