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Spectacled Caiman
Spectacled Caiman
Information
Common Name White Caiman or Common Caiman
Range Central and South America
Scientific Classification
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Reptilia
Order Crocodylia
Family Alligatoridae
Genus Caiman
Species C. crocodilus
Conservation Status
LCSpecies
Least Concern

The Spectacled Caiman is a species from the Caiman genus. It is found in Central and South America.

AppearanceEdit

The Spectacled Caiman is a small to mid-sized Crocodilian. Males of the species are generally 1.8 to 2 m (5.9 to 6.6 ft), while females are smaller, usually around 1.2–1.4 m (3.9–4.6 ft). The body mass of most adult Spectacled Caimans is between 7 and 40 kg (15 and 88 lb). The maximum reported size for the species is 2.5 m (8.2 ft), with a body mass of 58 kg (130 lb). The largest female was reportedly 1.61 m (5.3 ft) long and weighed 20 kg (44 lb). Caimans from the Venezuelan Llanos are reportedly larger-bodied than specimens from Mexico. The species' common name comes from a bony ridge between the eyes, which gives the appearance of a pair of spectacles. Overall a typical Crocodilian gray-green coloration, this species has been known to change color. During colder weather the black pigment, found within their skin cells, will expand making them appear darker.

BehaviorEdit

The Spectacled Caiman is an adaptable species that tolerates fresh, brackish and saltwater. It prefers still waters but is present in virtually all types of lowland wetland and riverine habitats within it's range.

If necessary, the Spectacled Caiman will excavate a burrow and aestivate until conditions improve.

DietEdit

Caimans eat a variety of Invertebrates such as Insects, Crustaceans, and Mollusca. The larger Caimans will eat Fish and Water Snails.Older animals are capable of taking larger, Mammalian prey (e.g. Wild Pigs). Observations show that as conditions become drier, Caimans stop feeding. In areas where this species has become depleted, Fish populations have also shown a decline. Until recently, it was thought that the Caiman Crocodilus would overeat the Fish and Snail populations. Some suggest that they control Piranha populations. However, Piranhas have not been found to be a normal meal. The C. yacare does demonstrate this particular dietary preference. In reality, it is likely that C. crocodilus is very much a generalist and adaptive predator, given its ecological success.

LifespanEdit

They reach sexual maturity between 4-7 years. The lifespan is 25-30 years.

GalleryEdit

  • Spectacled Caiman

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