The Spectacled Caiman (Caiman crocodilus) is a crocodilian reptile found in much of Central and South America. It lives in a range of lowland wetland and riverine habitat types and can tolerate salt water as well as fresh; due in part to this adaptability it is the most common of all crocodilian species.
Males of the species are generally between 2 and 2.5 meters, while females are smaller, usually around 1.4 meters. The species common name comes from a bony ridge between the eyes, which give the appearance of a pair of spectacles.
This species has actually benefited from commercial utilisation and over-hunting of other species within its range taking over habitat from which it would otherwise have been out-competed by healthy populations. The skin of this creature is not ideally suited to tanning, as the ventral scales contain well-developed osteoderms. Only the lateral flanks provide skin of an acceptable quality for tanning.
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