|West African crocodile|
Temporal range: Late Pleistocene - Present
|Specimen in Bazoulé, Burkina Faso|
| Crocodylus suchus|
The West African crocodile or desert crocodile (Crocodylus suchus) is a species of crocodile related to – and often confused with – the Nile crocodile (C. niloticus).
The species was named by Étienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire in 1807, who discovered differences between the skulls of a mummified crocodile and those of C. niloticus. This new species was, however, for a long time afterwards regarded as a synonym of the Nile crocodile, but a 2011 study showed that all sampled mummified crocodiles from Egypt belonged to a different species than C. niloticus, and thereby resurrected the name C. suchus.
The West African crocodile inhabits Mauritania, Benin, Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon, Chad, Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Senegal, Mali, Guinea, Gambia, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Gabon, Togo, Ivory Coast, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of Congo and Uganda (Uganda has both Nile and West African crocodiles). One C. suchus specimen also exists at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park, and pairs live in Copenhagen Zoo and Dublin Zoo.
West African crocodiles in Mauritania have adapted to their arid environment by staying in caves or burrows in a state of æstivation during the driest periods. When it rains, the reptiles gather at gueltas.