Flickr photo of the day: A spectacular spectacled caiman

Michael Clemmer
CompassAugust 20, 2013

Although its common name is spectacled caiman, there’s nothing wrong with its vision. In fact, it has binocular vision; just like the rest of us, but its vertical pupils give it great night vision while a nictitating membrane protects its eyes underwater. Caimans live in saltwater or freshwater, thank you, and true to their crocodilian linage, they will happily dine on a human being when available.

A native of northern South America and Central America, caiman crocodilus are kind of cute when they are little, but they don’t stay that way. Specimens bought in pet shops soon wore out their welcome and were released in south Florida. Now they are enjoying life in the Sunshine State, too.

Faraaz Abdool took this photo in Trinidad, West Indies, while the caiman hissed its displeasure.

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