Caiman is a crocodile belonging to the alligator family. Alligators are smaller than real crocodiles, they have wider and short muzzles, besides they are rather lazy and not so aggressive. Caimans form a separate genus. From the rest of the family these reptiles are distinguished by the presence of a protective bone carapace, which is located on the belly. The genus has 3 kinds. All their representatives live in the territory of South America. One species, namely the crocodile or spectacled caiman, also inhabits Central America.
These representatives of the crocodile order are not as bloodthirsty and aggressive as their relatives living in Africa, Asia and Australia. They eat insects, crustaceans, mollusks, water snails and of course fish. A mature caiman can attack also larger animals, for example, a medium sized ungulate animal. There is an opinion that these representatives of the family of alligators control the number of piranhas in the river waters of South America. But this point of view still needs practical evidence.
Representatives of this kind do not represent a great commercial interest for people. The thing is that the skin on the belly is not suitable for processing, as it is covered with horny plates on top. Value is represented only by the skin on the sides, but there is not much of it. However, after the number of other crocodiles fell to a minimum, they began to shoot and caiman. This, of course, affected their numbers, but not so tragically as in other animal species.
Currently, the number of 2 species is kept at a stable level and is estimated by many hundreds of thousands of individuals. But the number of the Paraguayan caiman fluctuates within 200 thousand individuals. This is very small, so there is a special program to conserve this species. In its framework there are crocodile farms in Argentina, Bolivia and Brazil.