Zoo Animals


Dwarf caiman

Paleosuchus palpebrosus

At the Detroit Zoo
The dwarf caiman can be found inside the Holden Reptile Conservation Center, located near the middle of the Detroit Zoo. There, visitors can learn about the 80 different species (and approximately 240 individuals) of reptiles at the Zoo, one-fifth of which are considered threatened or endangered in the wild.


The dwarf caiman is reddish brown on the top of the body and blotched with brown on the underside, displaying distinct red blotches on the sides of the jaw. The head and snout are squared with bony plates over its eyelids.


Fun Facts

  • The sex of dwarf caiman hatchlings is determined by the incubation temperature of the eggs.

  • The dwarf caiman is the smallest of the crocodilian species.