CAIMAN

Caimans are found in a variety of habitats throughout Central and South America, from marshes and swamps, to mangrove rivers and lakes. Although the caimans have much narrower bodies, they are most closely related to alligators and crocodiles. As with other reptiles, caimans have scaly skin and live a fairly nocturnal existence.

The caiman is a carnivorous predator and, like the alligator and the crocodile, the caiman has a diet that consists of a great deal of fish. The caiman also hunts insects, birds and small mammals and reptiles. Due to the large size and ferocious nature of the caiman, it has few natural predators within its environment. Humans are the main predators of the caiman as they have been hunted for their meat and skin. Jaguars are the only other predator of the caiman.

Female caimans build a large nest in which to lay their eggs, which can be more than 1.5 meters wide. They lay between 10 and 50 eggs which hatch within about 6 weeks. Once they have hatched, the mother caiman takes her young to a shallow pool of water where they can learn how to hunt and swim.

CAIMAN