The Cayman - Wanted poster


Surname: Caiman
Latin name: Caiman
class: Reptiles
size: about 1.5 - 2.2m
mass: 50 - 80kg
Older: 40 - 100 years
Appearance: depending on the species
Sexual dimorphism: Yes
Nutrition type: Carnivore
food: Fish, crustaceans, molluscs
distribution: Central America, South America
original origin: South America
Sleep-wake rhythm: day or night active
habitat: Rivers, swamps
natural enemies: /
sexual maturity: about the age of five
mating season: ?
incubation period: 85 - 90 days
clutch size: 10 - 40 eggs
social behavior: Loners
Threatened with extinction: No
Further profiles of animals can be found in the Encyclopaedia.

Interesting facts about the cayman

  • Caimans describe a three-species group of crocodiles within the alligators.
  • This group of reptiles is subdivided into the smooth-headed Caimans, the Mohrenkaimane and the Real Caimans.
  • Among the best known species are the crocodile and the spectacled caiman.
  • All caiman species are distributed in central and northern South America to Uruguay, where they are found mainly in the Amazon and in the Orinocogebiet.
  • In Florida lives an ever-growing colony of spectacled caimans who were released from captivity in the 1950s.
  • Caimans settle in rainforests both large and small rivers as well as ponds, canals and swamps. They prefer to stay in waters with muddy ground or in flooded sandbanks.
  • There, they spend most of their time motionless in the water to ambush their prey.
  • Caimans seldom exceed two meters in length, although occasionally specimens of up to five meters in length are also reported.
  • Average caimans weigh about 60 pounds.
  • The males are not only much larger than the females, but also have a much wider skull and tail.
  • Depending on the species caimans are brown, gray or dark olive green colored. The ventral side is much brighter in almost all caimans and appears either in white or in bright green and yellow tones.
  • The color may change in some species depending on the state of arousal of the animals.
  • Common to all caimans are the partly ossified horn plates on the abdomen as well as the undivided and closable nostrils.
  • Caimans are known for their extremely aggressive and snappy behavior. However, they rarely become dangerous to humans because they are usually very shy.
  • They feed on the habitat and species of fish, shells, amphibians and mollusks.
  • The eggs are placed on the ground in a nest padded with dead plant material, where they are hatched by the heat generated by the decomposition processes.
  • The female defends the clutch bravely against attackers. Eggs and young caimans are often captured by other reptiles, predatory fish or large birds.
  • Caimans are mature at around the age of five, unlike all other species of crocodiles that grow about twice as slowly.
  • With the exception of humans, adult caimans have no enemies. By persecuting and destroying their habitats, many species are now considered endangered.
  • It is estimated that millions of caimans still fall victim to poachers, as their skin in the leather trade generates high prices and is processed into various luxury goods.
  • Caimans reach a high age with an average of sixty, rarely even up to one hundred years.