Herpetofauna: One Life's List

Dracaena guianensis
Caiman Lizard

Depto Loreto, Peru
January 14, 2013.

We were in the dining hut at the Madre Selva field station, eating lunch, when Matt Cage jerked to his feet and ran out the door.  He had spotted this lizard crossing the open space outside and got his hands on it before it could dash into the forest and out of reach.

In addition to their powerful jaws (designed for crunching up their principal prey, large land snails), the Caiman Lizard features raised spines running down the dorsum and tail.  The spines are as sharp as chainsaw teeth, and about the same size.  A firm grip is required.







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