Genetic differentiation of the African dwarf crocodile Osteolaemus tetraspis Cope, 1861 (Crocodylia: Crocodylidae) and consequences for European zoos

  title={Genetic differentiation of the African dwarf crocodile Osteolaemus tetraspis Cope, 1861 (Crocodylia: Crocodylidae) and consequences for European zoos},
  author={Franziska Anni Franke and Fabian Schmidt and Christin Borgwardt and Detlef Bernhard and Christoph Bleidorn and Wolfgang Engelmann and Martin Schlegel},
  journal={Organisms Diversity \& Evolution},
The endangered African dwarf crocodile Osteolaemus tetraspis is distributed in Central and Western Africa. Conventionally, two subspecies were distinguished: Osteolaemus tetraspis tetraspis and Osteolaemus tetraspis osborni. The taxonomic significance of diagnostic morphological characters is still being discussed and the existence of additional species in the Osteolaemus group remains unclear. Recent molecular studies suggest the existence of three allopatric species in the genus Osteolaemus… 
The importance of genetic research in zoo breeding programmes for threatened species: the African dwarf crocodiles (genus Osteolaemus) as a case study
The case study of dwarf crocodiles in zoological institutions reinforces the importance of genetic research in conservation-breeding programmes, highlights the potential for collaboration between European and American zoological Institutions for the ex situ conservation of threatened wildlife, and foreshadows some of the regulatory challenges in managing captive populations internationally.
DNA barcoding of Cameroon samples enhances our knowledge on the distributional limits of putative species of Osteolaemus (African dwarf crocodiles)
It is found that O. tetraspis extends west beyond the CVL and, thus, this mountain chain does not represent the distributional limit of this lineage, and O. osborni is found in Cameroon, which has important implications for the conservation and management of these lineages.
Systematic revision of the living African Slender-snouted Crocodiles (Mecistops Gray, 1844).
A neotype for M. cataphractus is designated and a revised diagnosis for crown Mecistops is provided, and previous descriptions of the two living species are revised and updated, including providing both more complete descriptions and discussion of diagnostic characters.
Co-occurring cryptic species pose challenges for conservation: a case study of the African dwarf crocodile (Osteolaemus spp.) in Cameroon
Abstract The conservation status of threatened taxa may be obfuscated by the detection of cryptic species complexes, in both vertebrate and invertebrate species. African dwarf crocodiles (Osteolaemus
Intra- and interspecific variability in allodaposuchid crocodylomorphs and the status of western European taxa
Ontogenetic (intraspecific) variation observed in the allodaposuchid from Velaux is not in conflict with the presence of at least four taxa in the European Archipelago during the Late Cretaceous.
Diet and body condition of cave-dwelling dwarf crocodiles (Osteolaemus tetraspis, Cope 1861) in Gabon
The results provide a unique insight into facultative cave use by a principally surface-dwelling species and reinforce the necessity for further research into this unique system to better understand the evolutionary-scale implications of cave habitat use by dwarf crocodiles.
Delimitation of evolutionary units in Cuvier’s dwarf caiman, Paleosuchus palpebrosus (Cuvier, 1807): insights from conservation of a broadly distributed species
This study tested the hypothesis that Cuvier's dwarf caiman (Paleosuchus palpebrosus)—a species broadly distributed across several biomes and watersheds of South America—is comprised of different ESUs, and suggested that conservation research should not neglect species that are generally considered of Least Concern by IUCN due to the taxon’s broad geographic distribution.
Genetic barcoding facilitates captive and wild management of three cryptic African crocodile species complexes
The results underscore the need to formally recognize divergent crocodile taxa, especially in light of regional threats, and for proper captive breeding management, and support the use of barcoding as a tool for diagnosing African crocodile species in captive populations.
The genus Osteolaemus (Crocodylidae) in Angola and a new southernmost record for the genus
This work provides the first confirmed record of Osteolaemus (probably O. osborni) in “mainland” Angola based on a vagrant individual believed to have come from the Kwanza River system, which constitutes the southernmost record for Osteolemus in Africa, by approximately 400 km.
Crocodylian conservation and evolution insights from an anatomical and histological examination of phalli from male false gharial (Tomistoma schlegelii)
Investigation of phallic anatomy of adult male Tomistoma from two zoological populations finds species‐specific aspects of glans and glans tip morphology are identified and novelties are discussed in a general function and overall broader evolutionary contexts.


An ancient icon reveals new mysteries: mummy DNA resurrects a cryptic species within the Nile crocodile.
A cryptic evolutionary lineage within the Nile crocodile is revealed that elucidates the biogeographic history of the genus and clarifies long-standing arguments over the species' taxonomic identity and conservation status.
Morphology, relationships, and biogeographical significance of an extinct horned crocodile (Crocodylia, Crocodylidae) from the Quaternary of Madagascar
Phylogenetic analysis indicates that Crocodylus robustus Grandidier & Vaillant, 1872 is more closely related to the living African dwarf crocodiles (Osteolaemus) than to living Croc Codylus, consistent with molecular data that suggest comparatively recent dispersal of CroCodylus niloticus to Madagascar from mainland Africa.
Mitogenomic Analyses Place the Gharial (Gavialis gangeticus) on the Crocodile Tree and Provide Pre-K/T Divergence Times for Most Crocodilians
A molecular dating of the divergence between Alligatoridae and Crocodylidae suggests that this basal split among recent crocodilians took place ≈140 million years before present, at the Jurassic/Cretaceous boundary.
High levels of genetic variability in west African Dwarf Crocodiles Osteolaemus tetraspis getraspis
sequenced a 350 bp region of mitochondrial DNA in an attempt to elucidate the relationships within one of these forms of the African Dwarf Crocodile, finding at least two distinct and well-supported groups with nucleotide sequence divergence levels comparable to those found between species of other crocodilians.
  • J. Oaks
  • Environmental Science, Biology
    Evolution; international journal of organic evolution
  • 2011
Traditional views of the evolution of Crocodylus are overturned by demonstrating that the true crocodiles are not “living‐fossils” that originated in Africa, and rapidly radiated and dispersed around the globe during a period marked by mass extinctions of fellow crocodylians.