Dwarf caiman

At the Detroit Zoo
The dwarf caiman can be found inside the Holden Reptile Conservation Center, located near the middle of the park. There, visitors can learn about the 70 different species (and approximately 180 individuals) of reptiles at the Detroit Zoo, one-fifth of which are considered threatened or endangered in the wild.


The dwarf caiman is reddish brown on the top of the body and blotched with brown on the underside, displaying distinct red blotches on the sides of the jaw. The head and snout are squared with bony plates over its eyelids.


Scientific name: Paleosuchus palpebrosus
Continent: South America
Habitat: Fast-moving, freshwater streams or rivers in forested areas
Size: 4 to 5 feet long
Weight: 40 pounds
Diet: Fish, tadpoles, snails, insects and small mammals
Reproduction: Clutch of 10 to 25 eggs which hatch after about 90 days
: 25 to 30 years
Conservation Status: Least Concern



The sex of dwarf caiman hatchlings is determined by the incubation temperature of the eggs.