image source: thetegu.com
image credit: Klaus Wiese
image source: newenglander.smugmug.com
Habitat: northeastern South America
Status: Least Concern
This gorgeous lizard looks like its been hand painted! This is the Northern Caiman Lizard (Dracaena guianensis) and it spends most of its time near or in the water. For this reason, they need to be well equipped to handle an aqueous environment. A long, powerful tail helps the Caiman Lizard to swim and dive while a clear third eyelid acts like a pair of swim goggles underwater. Swim gear – check!
They’re fairly large, growing to around 4 ft in length and reaching an average weight of 10 lbs. Some of these guys have made their way into the pet trade in recent years but I can’t understand how anyone has room for a 4 ft lizard that constantly needs relatively deep water to swim in!
“Hey, what’s that in your swimming pool?”
“Oh, you know, just my Caiman Lizard.”