Scientific Name: Melanosuchus niger
Common Names: Black Caiman
Maximum adult length: 5 metres (16.4 feet)
N.B. Exceptionally large specimens can be found in all species of crocodilian.
The black caiman is the largest member of the alligator family, and the largest predator in the Amazon River basin, with adult males averaging 4–5 metres (13.1–16.4 feet) in length. The species gets its name from its dark, black skin colouration, which provides camouflage during nocturnal hunts, and is thought to help absorb more heat. Once common, it was hunted to near extinction primarily for its commercially valuable hide. It is now making a comeback, listed as Conservation Dependent.