A return to the crocodilian panoply

As I was going to be away for a few days, I put up this post of a whole series of photos of various crocs and left the readers to guess at their identities. Here I shall attempt to reveal all (assuming I get it right):


We start off with a fairly obvious one, the American alligator: Alligator mississippiensis


The another alligator, this time the Chinese dwarf: Alligator sinensis

Now the very little seen dwarf caiman: Paleosuchus palpebrosus

The next two (above and below) are of the false gahrial: Tomistoma schlegelii

This gaping animal is the first piccie of a saltwater croc: Crocodylus porosus

And then we get a Nile croc: Crocodylus niloticus

These two (above and below) are the New Guinea crocodile: Crocodylus novaeguineae

Followed by another couple of C. porosus

Then we have a couple of photos (above and below) of the Siamese crocdile: Crocodylus siamensis

And here are two spectacled caiman: Caiman crocodilus

This one is a West African dward croc: Osteolaemus tetraspis

Then another spectacled caiman, though this is rather a young one.

Then another Siam croc.

And we finish with another Chinese alligator.

All in all, a more than healthy collection with 10 different species represented and covering more of the lineages. Sadly I’ve yet to see a true gharial and I do have hardcopy photos of mugger crocs and black caiman but couldn’t dig them out in time to scan them for this (though that’s a job for the future clearly). Obviously having a series of photos like this (despite all the photography issues and different degrees of zoom and angles) does make it much easier to compare them and the shapes of the snout and position and shape of major scales and scutes does make it easier to help separate them out and identify the different species.

6 Responses to “A return to the crocodilian panoply”


  1. 1 giacomo 18/02/2012 at 10:58 am

    I am not an expert, but I don’t think that the one in the second picture is a Chinese Alligator: we can see teeth that “go off” from the mouth (and this happens in crocodiles, not in alligators, look at the first picture!), its head is too slim and long for a Chinese Alligator, and it seems too big from the picture! according to me, that’s not a Chinese Dwarf, but it could be a crocodylinae, maybe _Crocodylus rhombifer_ or _C.acutus_!
    I’m sorry for the poor English; I hope you can understand!
    Giacomo

  2. 3 Evan 18/02/2012 at 6:10 pm

    There’s a true gharial in the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington D.C. Good stuff. Gotta love those Gavialids!

  3. 4 Casey Tucker 20/02/2012 at 1:45 am

    You might be interested in this Flickr gallery, which includes photos of American Crocodile, Cuban Crocodile, and Gharial:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/wild_auk_photography/sets/72157619460023682/


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