< >
The black caiman crocodile is a large, carnivorous, predator reptile who lives in the freshwater Amazon river. Excellent swimmers, who have webbed feet and powerful claws, caimans swallow food whole and must swallow rocks to help digest their food. Primarily living in water, they must come to land to nest and lay eggs. Climate temperature determines hatchling sex; cooler nests produce mostly females, warmer nests mostly males. Crocodiles have changed little since the time of the dinosaurs as they are highly adaptable to environmental changes. In the future, global warming, increased storms, and rising sea levels will flood the Amazon river with saltwater and increase the rainforest temperature. The black caiman’s thick skin adapts to living in water with increased salinity. As warmer temperatures decrease the number of female hatchlings and endanger the survival of this species, female caimans adapt by burying eggs deeper in the cool mud.