Spectacled Caiman

Caiman crocodilus

Description: Males of the species are generally 6.6-8.2 feet, while females are smaller, usually around 4.6 feet. The species common name comes from a bony ridge between the eyes, which gives the appearance of a pair of spectacles. They have been known to change color. During colder weather the black pigment, found within their skin cells will expand making them darker.

Range: Central America and northern areas of South America.

Habitat: It lives in a range of lowland wetland and river habitat types and can tolerate salt water as well as fresh.

Diet:
Wild: Young caimans will eat insects, crustaceans and other invertebrates and fish. Larger adults are able to take mammalian prey such as wild pigs and capybaras.
Zoo: Rodents and chicken.

Reproduction: Females build nests out of dense vegetation and can lay up to 40 eggs. Temperature is important to the developing eggs; it incubates and determines the sex of the offspring. After hatching the mother continues to care for the offspring for 2-4 months.