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Caiman Lizard


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Caiman Lizard (Dracaena guianensis) swimming underwater
Caiman Lizard (Dracaena guianensis) at St. Louis Zoo
Caiman Lizard (Dracaena guianensis)
Caiman Lizards (Dracaena guianensis) in Fort Worth Zoo
A caiman lizard at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago
The caiman lizard is a medium sized species of lizard, natively found in the jungles of South America. The caiman lizard is powerfully built and is one of the largest lizard species on the American continent.

The caiman lizard can be found inhabiting the rainforest and swampland areas of South America in the countries of Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. Caiman lizards are most commonly spotted in areas which are flooded as they are very aquatic creatures.

The caiman lizard is a large and powerfully built lizard that is known to grow up to 120 centimetres from it's snout to the tip of it's tail. Today, there is only one species of caiman lizard found in South America which is the Northern caiman lizard.

As the caiman lizard spends most of it's time either in or around the water, the body of the caiman lizard has adapted in ways which help it to live an aquatic lifestyle more successfully. The best example of this is the long, flattened tail of the caiman lizard which helps to steer it while swimming.

Caiman lizards are large carnivorous predators that only hunt other animals in order to gain their nutrients. Snails are the primary source of food for the caiman lizard along with other invertebrates such as insects and crabs, and occasional larger animals such as fish, rodents and amphibians.

Due to it's relatively large size and part water, part tree-dwelling lifestyle, caiman lizards have limited predators within their natural environment. Large predatory mammals including jaguars are known to hunt the caiman lizard along with other large reptiles including snakes and crocodiles.

Although little is known about the reproduction of the caiman lizard, they are thought to behave in a similar way to other large lizard species. After mating, female caiman lizards will lay their eggs into a hole in the riverbank which they cover up to protect them from hungry predators. When the baby caiman lizards hatch, they are completely independent as there is no prenatal care from the caiman lizard parents.

Today, although the caiman lizard is not considered to be a species that is under immediate threat from extinction, the caiman lizard populations have been declining in specific areas, mainly due to habitat loss often caused by high levels of pollution and deforestation.


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Caiman Lizard Translations

English English
Caiman lizard
 
French Français
Dracaena (lézard)
 
Latin Latina
Dracaena
 
Dutch Nederlands
Dracaena (hagedis)
 
Polish Polski
Dracaena (Teiidae)
 

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Caiman Lizard Facts

Kingdom:
Five groups that classify all living things...
Animalia
Phylum:
A group of animals within the animal kingdom...
Chordata
Class:
A group of animals within a pylum...
Reptilia
Order:
A group of animals within a class...
Squamata
Family:
A group of animals within an order...
Teiidae
Genus:
A group of animals within a family...
Dracaena
Scientific Name:
Comprised of the genus followed by the species...
Dracaena Guianensis
Type:
The animal group that the species belongs to...
Reptile
Diet:
What kind of foods the animal eats...
Carnivore
Size (L):
How long (L) or tall (H) the animal is...
60cm - 121cm (2ft - 4ft)
Weight:
The measurement of how heavy the animal is...
1.4kg - 2.7kg (3lbs - 6lbs)
Top Speed:
The fastest recorded speed of the animal...
16km/h (10mph)
Life Span:
How long the animal lives for...
10 - 30 years
Lifestyle:
Whether the animal is solitary or sociable...
Solitary
Conservation Status:
The likelihood of the animal becoming extinct...
Least Concern
Colour:
The colour of the animal's coat or markings...
Black, Brown, Tan, Yellow, Grey
Skin Type:
The protective layer of the animal...
Scales
Favourite Food:Insects
Habitat:
The specific area where the animal lives...
Rainforest and swampland
Average Clutch Size:
The average number of eggs laif at once...
6
Main Prey:
The food that the animal gains energy from...
Insects, Fish, Crabs
Predators:
Other animals that hunt and eat the animal...
Jaguar, Large Snakes, Humans
Distinctive Features:
Characteristics unique to the animal...
Forked tongue and powerful tail

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