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FAMILY:
ALLIGATORIDAE

A. mississippiensis
A. sinensis
C. crocodilus
C. c. apaporiensis
C. c. fuscus
C. latirostris
C. yacare
M. niger
P. palpebrosus
P. trigonatus

FAMILY:
CROCODYLIDAE

C. acutus
C. intermedius
C. johnstoni
C. mindorensis
C. moreletii
C. niloticus
C. novaeguineae
C. palustris
C. porosus
C. rhombifer
C. siamensis
M. cataphractus
O. tetraspis
T. schlegelii

FAMILY:
GAVIALIDAE

G. gangeticus

DICHOTOMOUS KEY
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Caiman crocodilus

This photograph shows the ossified bony bridge between the eyes from which the 'spectacled' caiman derives its name. Looking carefully, you can also see the fourth tooth of each side of the lower jaw projecting upwards and outwards - in alligators these teeth fit into depressions in the upper jaw, but this is not always apparent in some caiman. This floating posture is a favourite of crocodilians, as it exposes only the sensory apparatus on the head (eyes, nostrils) while the rest of the body remains mostly out of view under the surface.

Photograph © Adam Britton

ALL IMAGES:
[click on image for enlargement]

Click Head-on view of floating adult caiman Click Top-down view of adult head Click Sub-adult caiman partially submerged





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