Thursday, March 31, 2016

Spectacled Caiman, Caiman crocodilius (Family Alligatoridae)

Spectacled Caiman, Caiman crocodilus (Family Alligatoridae)

Caiman crocodilus is a widespread species ranging from Oaxaca, Mexico, southward to the Paraguay River in Paraguay. C. c. crocodilus has an Amazonian distribution. It occurs on Trinidad and Tobago, and possibly other near shore islands. On both islands it is found at lower elevations, although it will follow streams into hills and colonize man-made reservoirs. Caimans inhabit brackish and freshwater environments in Trinidad. It is best seen at night standing on bridges over streams and looking for eye shine along the banks and on the water's surface. Courtship occurs in the dry season and early wet season; nests are made of grass in grassland habitats, and leaves, twigs, and soil are used in forest habitats; vegetation is formed into a mound, a nest chamber is excavated, and eggs deposited; the sequence requires 2-7 days; mean clutch size is 28.6; nests are visited and repaired by females. The matte, Tupinambis teguixin, is the major nest predator. The photo below was taken in Nariva Swamp.

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