Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Spectacled Caiman

On the morning of 12 July 2017, our tour hustled into a tourist boat at the Hotel de Campos for a short ride up the Rio Frio. I really don’t like boat rides. Invariably, the critters I want to photograph are on the other side of the boat, which tends to be wobbly. Its hard to get close to wildlife. Getting good images of dragonflies is pretty much out of the question.

Nevertheless, I have to admit you do see from a boat wildlife that you otherwise would miss. Also the Rio Frio is relatively narrow, which helps for seeing things. Take this Spectacled Caiman, Caiman crocodilus. This species is the most common caiman in Central and South America, mainly because this reptile is tolerant of both fresh and salt water. These caimans eat small prey like insects, crustaceans or mollusks and, sometimes, small fish.

Caimans are interesting because their nest temperatures determine the sex of their young. Nest temperatures over 32 degrees C produce females; temperatures under 31 degrees become males. Further, adults can regulate temperatures by placing decaying vegetation in the nests (Wikipedia).

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