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FAMILY:
ALLIGATORIDAE

A. mississippiensis
A. sinensis
C. crocodilus
C. c. apaporiensis
C. c. fuscus
C. latirostris
C. yacare
M. niger
P. palpebrosus
P. trigonatus

FAMILY:
CROCODYLIDAE

C. acutus
C. intermedius
C. johnstoni
C. mindorensis
C. moreletii
C. niloticus
C. novaeguineae
C. palustris
C. porosus
C. rhombifer
C. siamensis
O. tetraspis
T. schlegelii

FAMILY:
GAVIALIDAE

G. gangeticus

DICHOTOMOUS KEY
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Osteolaemus tetraspis

An adult dwarf crocodile basking by the water's edge, mouth agape. Crocodiles often flip their legs (front and hind) partly or fully backwards when they are resting, and it is a common sign of relaxation in reptiles. If the reptile is disturbed, it will bring its limbs back into a more suitable position to move the body quickly, if that becomes necessary. This crocodile is also gaping, which serves two functions in crocodiles - the first as a way of cooling the head through evaporation of liquid from the tongue, combined with convective currents, and the second as a subtle way of warning potential threats that the croc doesn't want to be disturbed (opening the mouth exposes the teeth and the fleshy-coloured insides of the mouth).

Photograph © Adam Britton

ALL IMAGES:
[click on image for enlargement]

Click Adult O. t. tetraspis Click Head of adult crocodile Click Dorsal view of O. t. tetraspis
Click Adult O. t. tetraspis Click Juvenile O. tetraspis being held Click Adult head in water





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