Diet: Fish (such as catfish and piranhas), capybara, turtles, birds, otters and deer. Juveniles eat crustaceans and invertebrates such as snails and smaller fish.
Natural predators: None as adults. As babies and juveniles, snakes such as the anaconda, jaguars and bigger caimans. Many predators hunt their eggs.
Life span in the wild: Unknown
Clutch size: 30 to 65 eggs (50 to 60 normally)
Natural habitat: Shallow freshwater habitats such as slow-moving rivers, streams and oxbow lakes, and flooded savannah and wetlands.
Geographical range: Amazon rainforest from Ecuador to French Guiana and from Brazil and Colombia to Bolivia
Interesting Black Caiman facts
The Black Caiman is the largest predator in the Amazon rainforest and as adults, can potentially take on any other animal in the rainforest, including other predators.
It is the largest member of the Alligatoridae family which includes alligators and caimans. Caimans are endemic to Central and South America; alligators to the United States and China.
There are six species of caimans and four of these occur in the Tambopata rainforest, south-east Peru. The most often seen here are the Black Caiman and the smaller and lighter-coloured Spectacled Caiman.
At night, their eyes shine red.
They have 72-76 teeth!
There is an untrue myth that crocodilians such as the Black Caiman eat their own young – this is caused by a misunderstanding of when they move their hatchlings from the nest in their mouths to take them to a safer location.
The Black Caiman has made a comeback in its conservation status after becoming close to extinction because of a peak in commercial hunting in the 1950s – 1970s for its skin which produces a shiny black leather.