Northern Caiman Lizard

Zoo Location: Reptile Tropics
 Northern Caiman Lizard
Habitat

The Northern caiman lizard resides in swampy habitats and wooded areas of South American countries, such as Brazil and Ecuador.

Zoo Diet

Our pair of Northern caiman lizards are fed a diet of snails, prawns and crayfish.

Wild Diet

In the wild, these lizards eat snails, crawfish and fresh water clams.

Behaviour

Not much is known about their behaviour in the wild, but they are likely to be solitary until breeding. While its appearance and semi-aquatic lifestyle may suggest that that the caiman lizard is related to crocodilians, it is actually a cousin of the tegu and is just as well equipped for life on land and in the trees as it is for in the water. 

Breeding

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.

Conservation

While it is a relatively widespread species, little has been published about wild populations of caiman lizards. In the past, the caiman lizard was heavily hunted for its skin, but since protection was provided for them in the 1970s, the export has dropped and now these animals are not considered to be under the threat of extinction.

 Northern Caiman Lizard  Northern Caiman Lizard

INFORMATION

  • Latin Name: Dracaena guianensis
  • Class: Reptiles
  • Order: Squamata
  • Conservation status: Least Concern
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