Which is the largest of the American crocodilians?
Definition: What is a caiman?
The caiman is a semi-aquatic reptile of the crocodilian family, found in the tropical regions of Central and South America. Caimans have powerful jaws, thick skin and bony scales on their tails.
How to recognize a caiman?
To recognize a caiman, look for its V-shaped head with a broad, short snout, and eyes and nostrils located at the top of its head for breathing when submerged in water. Its body is elongated, with short legs and dorsal scales that extend to its tail.
Where does a caiman live?
Caimans live in wetlands such as rivers, swamps, lakes and estuaries in South and Central America. The most common species of caiman are the spectacled caiman, the black caiman and the broad-snouted caiman.
How big is a caiman?
The size of an adult caiman varies depending on the species, but in general, it is between 5 and 8 feet long. Males are larger than females. The black caiman is the largest of the caimans and can reach a length of 5 to 6 meters.
What is the diet of a caiman?
Caimans are carnivores and eat fish, frogs, crabs, turtles, snakes and other small animals. Larger caimans may prey on mammals such as deer and wild boar.
How does a caiman reproduce?
Caiman reproduction is by mating. The female lays eggs in a nest that she builds on the shore. The eggs hatch after about 90 days and the young caiman are immediately independent.
What is the difference between a crocodile and a caiman?
The main difference between crocodiles and caimans is the shape of their snouts. Caimans have a shorter and wider snout than crocodiles. Caiman teeth are also more visible than crocodile teeth because they are wider and more widely spaced. The scales on the back of caimans also have a more regular appearance than those of crocodiles.