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Caiman Lizard

Caiman Lizard (Dracaena guianensis) at St. Louis ZooCaiman Lizard (Dracaena guianensis)Caiman Lizards (Dracaena guianensis) in Fort Worth ZooA caiman lizard at the Shedd Aquarium in ChicagoCaiman Lizard (Dracaena guianensis) swimming underwater
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Caiman Lizard Facts

Five groups that classify all living things
A group of animals within the animal kingdom
A group of animals within a pylum
A group of animals within a class
A group of animals within an order
A group of animals within a family
Scientific Name:
The name of the animal in science
Dracaena Guianensis
The animal group that the species belongs to
What kind of foods the animal eats
Size (L):
How long (L) or tall (H) the animal is
60cm - 121cm (2ft - 4ft)
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)
How long the animal lives for
10 - 30 years
Whether the animal is solitary or sociable
Conservation Status:
The likelihood of the animal becoming extinct
Least Concern
The colour of the animal's coat or markings
Black, Brown, Tan, Yellow, Grey
Skin Type:
The protective layer of the animal
Favourite Food:
The preferred food of this animal
The specific area where the animal lives
Rainforest and swampland
Average Clutch Size:
The average number of eggs laid at once
Main Prey:
The food that the animal gains energy from
Insects, Fish, Crabs
Other animals that hunt and eat the animal
Jaguar, Large Snakes, Humans
Distinctive Features:
Characteristics unique to this animal
Forked tongue and powerful tail

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Caiman Lizard Location

Map of Caiman Lizard Locations

Caiman Lizard

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 its snout to the tip of its 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 its 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 occasionally larger animals such as fish, rodents and amphibians.

Due to its 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

Caiman lizard
Dracaena (lézard)
Dracaena (hagedis)
Dracaena (Teiidae)

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First Published: 14th June 2010, Last Updated: 8th November 2019

1. David Burnie, Dorling Kindersley (2008) Illustrated Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 14 Jun 2010]
2. David Burnie, Kingfisher (2011) The Kingfisher Animal Encyclopedia [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2011]
3. Dorling Kindersley (2006) Dorling Kindersley Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 14 Jun 2010]
4. Richard Mackay, University of California Press (2009) The Atlas Of Endangered Species [Accessed at: 14 Jun 2010]
5. Tom Jackson, Lorenz Books (2007) The World Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 14 Jun 2010]