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Yacare caiman
Temporal range: Mid Paleocene - Present
Yacare caiman (Caiman yacare) 2.jpg
In the Pantanal, Brazil
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Crocodilia
Family: Alligatoridae
Subfamily: Caimaninae
Genus: Caiman
Species: C. yacare
Binomial name
Caiman yacare
Daudin, 1802
250px-Caiman yacare Distribution.png
Range (green)

The yacare caiman (Caiman yacare, jacaré in Portuguese) is a species of caiman found in central South America, including northeastern Argentina, Uruguay, southeastern Peru, eastern Bolivia, central/southwest Brazil, and the rivers of Paraguay. About 10 million individual yacare caimans exist within the Brazilian pantanal, representing what is quite possibly the largest single crocodilian population on Earth.

Description and diet

As a small and medium-sized crocodilian, most adult males grow to roughly 2 or 2.5 m (6.6 or 8.2 ft) in length, with the occasional 3 m (9.8 ft) individual (reports of 4 m (13 ft) individuals within the pantanal are yet to be verified). Females are rather smaller at an average of 1.4 m (4.6 ft). Body mass in this species can range up to 58 kg (128 lb) in males and from 14 to 23 kg (31 to 51 lb) in females. Their relatively smaller size makes them a potential prey of the jaguar and anaconda.

This species' diet consists primarily of fish (especially piranha) and birds, reptiles, small mammals. With the occasional large mammals (especially capybara) being taken by larger adults. In general, due to their size, this species is not considered to be fatally dangerous to humans.

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