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Lézard Caïman © François-Gilles Grandin - MNHN

The northern caiman or dracaena lizard

The northern caiman lizard, also called dracaena, Dracaena guianensis, is one of the largest lizards on the American continent.

Profile

Class, order and family :
Reptilia, Squamata, Teiidae
Life span :
up to 30 years in captivity
Size & Weight :
60 - 120 cm and 1.5 – 2.7 kg
Incubation period :
3 - 6 months for around ten eggs
Natural habitat :
near streams
Diet :
carnivore
Native region :
Guyana, Colombia, Venezuela, Peru and Brazil

Lifestyle

An arboreal animal, it spends the day in water and hides in the trees at night. An excellent swimmer, this large lizard looks like a small caiman and feeds on crustaceans and particularly snails.

Anecdote

At the Parc Zoologique de Paris, it is fed brown snails, the same ones which grace restaurant tables.