Project Description

The spectacled caiman

The spectacled caiman is also called the common caiman, the white caiman or the Brazilian caiman. They got that name from the bony rim around the eyes that looks like glasses. Males grow to about two to two and a half meters in length. Females stay clearly smaller. Young animals mainly eat insects, crustaceans and shellfish. The adult caimans feast on fish, water birds, lizards, turtles and snakes. When there is too little food available, they do not shrink from devouring their own congeners or mammals.

The caiman is found from South to Central America and can adapt very well to all types of waters. In their nest, the females lay 15 to 40 eggs that are guarded by several females. The main enemy is the Tegu giant, known in Suriname as the sapakara, who loves caiman eggs.

The Spectacled Caiman is one of the most common species and counts more than 1 million in the wild. They probably do so well because their skin is not suitable for making leather.

(photo: Gustao Zea)