Black Kaiman Bright representative of the Alligator family. This species is considered the largest of the family and the second in dimensions in South America.
The body size of males ranges from 2.8 to 4.3 meters. Some representatives reach 5 meters in length. Average weight around 300 kilograms. 76 large teeth are located in the mouth. Black skin that helps with coldblooded reptiles absorb sunlight. The lower jaw is painted in gray or brown stripes. Yellowish strips are placed on the sides. With the age of Kaiman, these stripes begin to fade, and the skin becomes evenly black. Brown eyes are located on the muzzle of the Kaimans. The muzzle is acute and narrow. The tail is long and powerful.
Sexual dimorphism lies in size. The female is much less than males in weight and body length.
The main range of these representatives extends in the Amazon River basin. Reptiles also live in South America, in particular in Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia. As a habitat, swampy areas and rivers with a weak current are chosen. Some black kaimans populate lakes.
Food and hunting
The diet of a black kayman consists mainly of various invertebrates, crustaceans and insects. Hunt for fish and mollusks with age. Some representatives eat birds, turtles, rodents and other amphibians. Can hunt for large water clips.
The activity of black kayman is manifested at night. As a rule, they are looking for prey in water, but they can go to land for large prey. Having caught the victim, Black Kayman drags her into the water and drings to eat calmly. The device of teeth does not allow black kayman to chew the victim, so they swallow it entirely.
Behavior and reproduction
Most black kaimans prefer to live alone. Daytime is spent in shelter or climb ashore to be fouled by sunlight.
In the marriage period, females equip large nests next to the river or swamps pool. The nests are built from plant residues, and then it lays from 30 to 65 eggs in this recess. Lane eggs are covered with grass and leaves. The incubation period can last up to 90 days. All this time the female protects her future offspring from potential predators. With the advent of small black kayman, the female helps them get out of the nest and transfer it to the water. The first time after the birth of the cubs are under the serious protection of the mother, then they can form in small flocks to better cope with a possible danger. As a nutrition, small black kaymans produce small fish and frogs. Mortality among the cubs is extremely high. As a rule, only 20 % survived from all born.
The surviving kaiman can live up to 20 years in the wild.
Enemies in nature
Thanks to his physiological data, the Black Kaiman is well protected from other large animals. However, jaguars and anaconds can hunt him. Some jaguars accidentally confuse black kaymans with a log. When Jaguar feels the movement, he sticks his sharp claws into the body of a black kayman, due to which he can die. Anaconda prefers to hunt small kaimans, she compresses their bodies tightly until they die.
Human activity affects the population of kaimans. They are hunted for the sake of their unique skin, which has a large price in the black market.