Smithsonian National Zoological Park l Friends of the National Zoo



Cuvier's dwarf caiman

By MSA 2005 Map showing rivers, lakes, flooded forests habitats in northern South America


Class Reptilia
Order: Crocodylia
Family: Crocodylidae
Genus and species: Paleosuchus palpebrosus
The dwarf caiman may be the smallest of the crocodilians, but its bony armor underneath as well as on top make up for its size. Tough belly plates reduce injuries from predators and rocky debris along the river bottom.

Learn about another reptile or amphibian: