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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

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

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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