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Saturday, February 22, 2014

Caiman

Name: Caiman
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Crocodilia
Family: Alligatoridae
Genus: Caimaninae
   The caiman is a large aquatic reptile found in tropical regions of Central and South America, where they live along rivers, streams, and lakes.
   There are six different species of caiman found throughout the watery, jungle habitats of Central and Southern America:
1. Spectacled Caiman.
2. Broad-Snouted Caiman.
3. Jacare Caiman.
4. Black Caiman.
5. Cuvier's Dwarf Caiman.
6. Schneider's Dwarf Caiman.
   Caimans closely resemble alligators in appearance, with long, thick, tapering tails and elongated snouts. Caimans are generally somewhat smaller, averaging about four to six feet (1.2 to 1.8m) in length. Their bodies are covered with bony plates and are blackish or brownish with various lighter markings. The female caimans build a large nest in which to lay their eggs, which can be more than 1.5 meters wide. Female caimans lay between 20 and 30 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.

   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.
   The average lifespan of caiman is 30 to 40 years.
  The caiman is a carnivorous predators 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.
Source: Wikipedia