Image of a small Caiman perched on a rock. Caimans inhabit Mexico and Central and South America from marshes and swamps to mangrove rivers and lakes.

Cuvier's Dwarf Caiman

Species: Paleosuchus palpebrosus

Why is Javier here?

Caiman Facts


In the wild, caimans can be found throughout the southern half of South America in a variety of rivers, swamps, and wetlands.


While the population is considered to be stable in the wild, their numbers have decreased due to illegal hunting and poaching, as well as mining agriculture, and other forms of human expansion.


Like all crocodilians they are carnivores, they will eat any small animals they can catch but their diet primarily consists of fish, shellfish, small amphibians, and insects.

Physical Characteristics

The Cuvier's dwarf caiman is the smallest species of caiman and a relative of alligators and crocodiles. Females reach a maximum length of 4 feet long and males reach a maximum of 5 feet long.

Caimans are close relatives
of alligators and crocodiles,
but they are separate species.