Musky Caiman
Musky Caiman
Scientific Name : Paleosuchus palpebrosus Size : 300 cm Average Life Expectancy : 35 – 40 years

Cuvier's dwarf caiman

The Cuvier's dwarf caiman is a small crocodile species found in North, Central and South America The scientific name of this species is Paleosuchus Palpebrosus and was first discovered in 1807 by the French zoologist Georges Cuvier. This is where the English name "Cuvier's Dwarf Caiman" originates from.

This crocodile, which can be encountered in countries such as Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay, Peru, Venezuela and Colombia, generally lives in forested areas near the river. The male dwarf caiman, the smallest of all crocodile species, can reach up to 1.4 meter and the females 1.2 meter in length. Adult caimans have an average weight of 6-7 kilos.

The dwarf caimans are mostly active during the night and hunt on land or in the water. They feed on fish, frogs, small mammals, birds and mollusks. During the day they lie in pits or on rocks or sunbathe in shallow water. They have a hard skin covered in black scales, which protects them against other predators. Environments covered with areas such as swamps form ideal living spaces for these small crocodiles, which are generally seen in tropical regions with a lot of rain. Although they generally prefer fast-flowing water, they are also seen in stagnant waters. The Cuvier's dwarf caiman moves surprisingly fast on land and it is even faster in the water.

The females can produce up to 10 - 25 eggs and the incubation period is approximately 90 days. The average life expectancy of the Cuvier's dwarf caiman is 30 - 40 years.

Where can it be seen?

You can see the Cuvier's Dwarf Caimans in the Amazon Rain Forest Area of Istanbul Akvaryum.

Did you know?

  • The Cuvier's Dwarf Caiman has the ability to stand still for many hours.
  • It sometimes catches its prey on land and brings it into the water, where it holds the prey under the water until it drowns.
  • It uses its rear legs to scratch, rubbing its own eyes and to break up its prey into pieces.
  • They can jump very high out of the water.