The spectacled caiman is an adaptable critter, inhabiting nearly all wetland and river habitats in southern Central American and northern South America, including nearly all of the Amazon river basin. They can tolerate brackish water. When food is scarce or the waters dry out, spectacled caimans will burrow into the mud to wait for better conditions.
Spectacled Caiman hide makes poor leather, due to the boney plates present in the belly skin. The skin trade has actually helped these caimans by wiping out larger crocodilians which preyed on them. This species is, however, heavily exploited for the pet trade. Spectacled caiman do not make suitable pets, being snappy, high strung, defensive, and liable to bite their owners by mistake at feeding time. Despite their small size for a crocodilian, few people are able to provide for such a large reptile.
Spectacled caimans typically reach Tiny through Moderate size. Rare individuals can become Medium size. The boney plates that protect this caiman from the leather trade also give it protection against attacks from below
Back to Crocodilians