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see alligatoralligator,
large aquatic reptile of the genus Alligator, in the same order as the crocodile. There are two species—a large type found in the S United States and a small type found in E China. Alligators differ from crocodiles in several ways.
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the common name for three genera of reptiles (Caiman, Melanosuchus, and Paleosuchus) of the family Alligatoridae. They are distinguished from true alligators by the absence of a bony septum in the olfactory cavity and the presence of a bony abdominal shell. There are five species, found in bodies of water in Central and South America.

The largest is the black caiman (Melanosuchus niger), which reaches a length of 4-5 m. It is found in the Amazon River basin. The female lays 30-40 eggs (each up to 9 cm) in a depression in moist soil near water. The black caiman feeds mainly on fish, but also eats waterfowl, marsh birds, and mammals. It will often attack small cattle, particularly during flash floods in semi-inundated pasture lands.


Wermuth, H., and R. Mertens. Schildkröten, Krokodile, Brückenechsen. Jena, 1961.


(vertebrate zoology)
Any of five species of reptiles of the genus Caiman in the family Alligatoridae, differing from alligators principally in having ventral armor and a sharper snout.


, caiman
any tropical American crocodilian of the genus Caiman and related genera, similar to alligators but with a more heavily armoured belly: family Alligatoridae (alligators, etc.)
References in periodicals archive ?
The Caymans, in turn, has shown itself unfriendly to criticism in the press.
Porsche Centre Oman SATA received its newest members last week with the launch of the 2014 Cayman and Cayman S.
Augier told Le Monde that it was Xi, a British Virgin Islands resident, who pushed for the company to be registered in the Caymans.
A source in the Caymans said it was "normal procedure".
In response to hospital claims that funds are stored in the Caymans to save patients money, MNA Executive Director Julie Pinkham said "That excuse doesn't pass the 'laugh test.
Oil and gas wealth could very soon even be vastly supplemented by highly lucrative, tax-free, offshore banking as in the Cayman Islands.
The Cayman Islands captive insurance sector remains buoyant in a testing environment, as 2013 maintained a steady pace following on from the phenomenal 2012 year of growth, reports Caribbean News Now (Feb.
HURRICANE Ivan threatened to lay waste to Cuba's tobacco fields last night after ravaging the Cayman Islands.
The all-to-brief trip to the Caymans was one of three great stopovers on a western Caribbean cruise aboard the Victory.
The 32-year-old former Walsall midfielder is wanted by the Caymans for a month, during which they play a friendly and two World Cup qualifiers.
Officials working in the Caymans are trying to find the name of the account used by the politician and the person who controlled it.
They also let loose two caymans to ensure there was enough "native wildlife" to support the 13 participants.