Caiman

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For the genus, see Caiman (genus). For other uses, see Caiman (disambiguation).
Caimans
Temporal range: Paleocene—Present, 60–0Ma
Caiman yacare.jpg
Yacare Caiman, Caiman yacare
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Superorder: Crocodylomorpha
Order: Crocodilia
Family: Alligatoridae
Subfamily: Caimaninae
Brochu, 1999
Type species
Caiman latirostris
Daudincrrefwad, 1825
Genera and Species

See below

Caimans are alligatorid crocodylians within Caimaninae. The group is one of two primary lineages within Alligatoridae, the other being alligators. Caimans inhabit Central and South America. They are relatively small crocodylians, with the smallest being Cuvier's dwarf caiman (Paleosuchus palpebrosus), which grows to 1 m (3 ft) long, and the largest being the black caiman (Melanosuchus niger), which can grow to 4 m (13 ft) or more. Several extinct forms are known, including Purussaurus, a giant Miocene genus that grew to 12 m (39 ft) and the equally large Mourasuchus, which had a wide duck-like snout.[1]

Taxonomy[edit]

Spectacled caiman (Caiman crocodilus)
Broad-snouted caiman (Caiman latirostris)
Yacare caiman (Caiman yacare)
Black caiman (Melanosuchus niger)
Cuvier's dwarf caiman (Paleosuchus palpebrosus)
Smooth-fronted caiman (Paleosuchus trigonatus)

Phylogeny[edit]

Below is a cladogram modified from Brochu (2011).[2]

 Alligatoridae 

Alligatorinae


 Caimaninae 

Eocaiman cavernensis




Necrosuchus ionensis



Tsoabichi greenriverensis




Paleosuchus palpebrosus



Paleosuchus trigonatus





Mourasuchus



Orthogenysuchus olseni




Purussaurus mirandai



Purussaurus neivensis




 Jacarea 


Caiman crocodilus



Caiman yacare





Caiman latirostris



UCMP 39978 (referred to Caiman lutescens)




Melanosuchus fisheri



Melanosuchus niger








Below is a cladogram modified from Hastings et al. (2013).[3]



Stangerochampsa mccabei




Brachychampsa montana



Brachychampsa sealeyi



 Alligatoridae 

Alligatorinae


 Caimaninae 

Culebrasuchus mesoamericanus




Eocaiman cavernensis




Tsoabichi greenriverensis





Paleosuchus palpebrosus



Paleosuchus trigonatus






Centenariosuchus gilmorei




Purussaurus neivensis




Mourasuchus



Orthogenysuchus olseni








Caiman crocodilus



Caiman yacare





Caiman latirostris



Caiman lutescens




Melanosuchus fisheri



Melanosuchus niger












References[edit]

  1. ^ Brochu, C. A. (1999). "Phylogenetics, Taxonomy, and Historical Biogeography of Alligatoroidea". Society of Vertebrate Paleontology Memoir 6: 9–100. doi:10.2307/3889340. JSTOR 3889340. 
  2. ^ Brochu, C. A. (2011). "Phylogenetic relationships of Necrosuchus ionensis Simpson, 1937 and the early history of caimanines". Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 163: S228–S256. doi:10.1111/j.1096-3642.2011.00716.x.  edit
  3. ^ Hastings, A. K.; Bloch, J. I.; Jaramillo, C. A.; Rincon, A. F.; MacFadden, B. J. (2013). "Systematics and biogeography of crocodylians from the Miocene of Panama". Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 33 (2): 239. doi:10.1080/02724634.2012.713814.  edit