REPTILIA: CROCODYLIA: ALLIGATORIDAE CAIMAN CROCODILUS This is a species account Caiman crocodilus, common name: Common Caiman or the Spectacled caiman

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REPTILIA: CROCODYLIA: ALLIGATORIDAE CAIMAN CROCODILUS ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles.

Amelingmeier, Amber. 2008. Caiman crocodilus.

Caiman crocodilus

Common Caiman, Spectacled caiman

Caiman crocodilus , Linnaeus, 1758. Type locality not specified. "Holotype, at least 4 Syntypes, 2 in NRM and 2 in ZMUU; the 60cm s-v length discolored and desiccated syntype in the ZMUU, referred to as the "type specimen" by Lönnberg 1896, and as the "holotipo" by Medem 1981, was designated lectotype of Lacerta crocodilus Linnaeus 1758" (Hoogmoed & Gruber 1983).

Content. Three subspecies are recognized as the Caiman crocodilus apaporiensis (Medem 1955), Caiman crocodilus fuscus (Cope 1868), and the Caiman crocodilus chiapasius (Bocourt 1876).

Definition. A somewhat small to medium sized crocodilian (males have the ability to reach 2.0 m - 2.5 m, 3 m being the largest). Females are smaller, reaching the maximum length of 1.4 m, and may reach up 2 m. Its common name comes from the bony facial ridge between the front of the eyes called the infra-orbital bridge.

It appears to join the eyes similar to a pair of spectacles, which is a distinguishing feature (Gorzula & Seijas1989). "A triangular ridge is present on the heavily-ossified upper eyelids, vaguely reminiscent of those on the dinosaur Allosaurus " (Gorzula & Seijas1989). Juveniles are yellow with some black spots and bands throughout the body and tail. As they mature, the yellow will be less distinct, as well as their markings. Adults have a dull olive-green. Caimans are responsive to cold temperatures in general preferring water temperatures above 28.5°C (Diefenbach, 1975).

FIGURE. A picture of a juvenile Common caiman, also known as the Spectacled caiman. (Photographer and copyright holder, Dr. Jerry Gingerich)

Breeding. At around 1.2 m the females become sexually mature, being between 4 and 7 years of age, depending on the...