Caiman Species Stock Video Footage


caiman

Caimans inhabit Central and South America from marshes and swamps to mangrove rivers and lakes. Caimans have scaly skin, and live a fairly nocturnal existence. They are relatively small-sized crocodilians, with an average maximum weight of 6 to 40 kg (13 to 88 lb) depending on species, with the exception of the black caiman (Melanosuchus niger), which can grow more than 5 m (16 ft) in length and weigh up to 1,100 kg (2,400 lb). The black caiman is the largest caiman species in the world and is found in the slow-moving rivers and lakes that surround the Amazon basin. The smallest species is the Cuvier's dwarf caiman (Paleosuchus palpebrosus), which grows to 1.2 to 1.5 m (3.9 to 4.9 ft) long. There are six different species of caiman found throughout the watery, jungle habitats of Central and Southern America. The average length for most of the other caiman species is about 2 to 2.5 m (6.6 to 8.2 ft) long. Caimans are distinguished from alligators, their closest relatives, by a few defining features: a lack of a bony septum between the nostrils, ventral armour composed of overlapping bony scutes formed from two parts united by a suture, and relatively longer, slenderer teeth than those possessed by alligators. The calcium rivets on their scales make their hides stiffer, and thus less valuable, than those of alligators and crocodiles, both of which have a similar appearance but are more pliable. Several extinct forms are kn... Learn more about Caiman

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