Friday, November 28, 2014

Taxonomy

The crocodilians get their share of attention from taxonomists with the result that there are various opinions on the status of the African species. For the purpose of this database we have recognised only three – the Nile crocodile Crocodylus niloticus, the African slender-snouted crocodile Crocodylus cataphractus and the dwarf crocodile Osteolaemus tetrapsis.

We haven’t seen any value in adopting more recent opinions, but if you are interested in such things we recommend the website of the J. Craig Venter Institute:

http://www.jcvi.org/reptiles/families/crocodylidae.php

This lists 35 synonyms for Crocodylus niloticus and notes that no less than 7 subspecies have been suggested. It also lists 7 synonyms for Crocodylus cataphractus, including the most recent, Mecistops cataphractus, and 15 for Osteolaemus tetraspis.

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