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 more than 50 different species (and approximately 120+ individuals) of reptiles at the Zoo, approximately 52 percent of which are considered threatened or endangered in the wild.

Dwarf caimans are reddish brown on the top of their bodies and blotched with brown on their undersides, displaying distinct red blotches on the sides of their jaws. Their heads and snouts are squared with bony plates over their eyelids.

Fun Facts

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

  • The dwarf caimans are the smallest of the crocodilian species.