Spectacled Caiman

ANIMAL:
Spectacled Caiman         Caiman crocodilus

Type of Animal:
Crocodilian

Habitat:
Lowland wetlands, riverine areas, lakes, ponds, marshes, rivers, brackish water, floodplains, saltwater areas, swamps, bogs, streams, coastal areas, prefers slow moving/still water

Location(s):
Ranges from S Mexico through most of C America & N South America to N tip of Bolivia & can also be found on Trinidad & Tobago. Invasive in parts of Florida, Cuba, & Puerto Rico.

Appearance:
Bony ridge between eyes look like spectacles, gray-green color, turns darker in colder weather, juveniles yellow w/ black spots & bands, greenish iris.

Food/Diet:
Fish, birds, amphibians, insects, rodents up to size of capybara, rabbits, hares, monkeys, crabs, crayfish, shrimp, snails, pigs, deer, carrion, snakes, young crocodilians (including own species), lizards, turtles, peccaries, goats, sheep, otters, foxes, coatis

Status in Wild:
Stable

Conservation:
Breeding from zoos, aquariums, farms, & reptile breeders . Farmed for meat & skin.

Lifestyle:
Found alone or in groups of up to 15 individuals. Young found in nursery groups of 10-280.

Additional Info:

Called:
Male-Bull
Female-Cow
Young-Hatchling
Group-Pod

Weight:
Male-80 lbs
Female-40 lbs
Young-10 oz

Gestation:
2-3 months

Life Span:
20-50 years

Body Length:
Male-5.9-6.6 ft
Female-3.9-4.6 ft
Young-1.5 ft

Tail Length:
Male-3 ft
Female-2.5 ft

Main predators of adults are jaguars, anacondas, giant otters, & larger crocodilians. Sometimes, caiman will eat anacondas & giant otters. Smaller otters, coatis, foxes, other crocodilians (including of own species), ocelots, wading birds, eagles, tegus, large predatory fish, capuchin monkeys, & large snakes eat young.

Most common of all crocodilian species.

Females can lay up to 40 eggs in a single clutch.

Higher nest temperatures create females & lower temperatures create males.

Young leave nest at 1.5 years old.

Sexually mature at 4-7 years old.

Populations have increased due to reduction of larger crocodilians.

They’re ambush predators.

Moms will put young in mouth (not eat them) in order to take them to water.

Fun Fact(s):
Like most caimans, they’re unpredictable in temperament.

Females very protective of young & sometimes, other females’ young, which will be found in creches. Sometimes females work together to defend nests.

They can change skin color & become darker during cooler periods.

2 thoughts on “Spectacled Caiman

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