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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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Melanosuchus niger

Detailed head portrait of a juvenile. The exceptionally large eyes of this species can be seen from this picture, although they are more prominent in juvenile animals. Large eyes indicate a nocturnal lifestyle, and this is certainly seen in the black caiman, which forages primarily at night. The integumentary sense organs are also visible below the eye and around the mouth (seen as darkly pigmented spots). These sense organs may be involved in underwater prey capture, or may play a role in social communication (e.g. tactile).

Photograph courtesy of University of Boston

ALL IMAGES:
[click on image for enlargement]

Click Head portrait of juvenile Click Juvenile held in hand Click Juveniles in a holding container
Click Juvenile's disruptive camouflage patterns Click Adult black caiman floating in water Click Sub-adult caiman head





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