The black spots on the head of this juvenile serve in the same way as the stripes of a tiger or a zebra - disruptive camouflage. By breaking up the outline of the head (and body) when viewed against a complex background, the animal can be very difficult to see even at close range. Juvenile black caimans are vulnerable to predation from a number of animals including birds, reptiles and large fish.
Photograph courtesy of University of Boston
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