Black Caiman

Black Caiman

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.

Kingdom
ANIMALIA
Phylum
CHORDATA
Class
REPTILIA
Order
CROCODYLIA
Family
ALLIGATORIDAE
Genus
MELANOSUCHUS

References

IUCN Red List (September, 2014) http://www.iucnredlist.org

 

At the zoo

Crocodiles of the World is the only place in the UK to see black caimans. We are currently home to two beautiful caimans.

 

Both animals have been with Shaun for many years and were among the zoo’s first inhabitants.

 

Currently the pair is separated, mostly because of some ill-tempered incidents, but they have cohabited before and may in time again share an enclosure at the zoo. However, for the most part, black caimans are solitary animals that gather only during the mating season.

 

Adopters

  • Laura Magniani
  • William Haden
  • Graham Smitheringale

Any Questions?

If you have any questions, please read our FAQ page which may have the information you need. If you need any further assistance or have queries regarding your visit, please contact us.