Caiman lizard

Dracaena guianensis

Fascinating Facts

Physical Characteristics

Adults grow to lengths of 2 – 4 feet and weigh between 3 – 6 pounds. They have green bodies and reddish-colored heads. Males and females are similar in appearance. They were named “caiman lizard” after the caiman crocodile, due to the crocodile-like scales on their backs, as well as their long flat tail, which helps them to swim. They have a clear third eyelid that they use like goggles while swimming.

Habitat/Diet

Caiman lizards are found in the riparian zone of tropical forests in Ecuador, Colombia, Brazil and Peru. They feed primarily on snails, as well as clams, and have a powerful jaw that crushes the shells. Once they have extracted the meat, they will spit out the shells.

Social Behavior

After mating, the female will lay eggs in a hole she has dug from a riverbank. There is no parental care.

Status In The Wild

Not yet assessed by IUCN

Location in the Zoo

South American Tropical Rainforest and Aviary



Animals & Exhibits