Staton Mark A and Dixon James R. Studies on the dry season biology of caiman Caiman crocodilus from the Venezuelan Llanos. Separata De La Memoria De La Sociedad De Ciencias Naturales La Sale N° 101 Mayo- Agosto 1975. Tomo XXXV Caracas – Venezuela.
The Llanos of Venezuela is a distinct biogeographical región lying circumjacent to the Orinoco River and extending north to the Andean and coastal mountain ranges of that country. The lower Llanos consists of low-lying savannas and is characterized by pronounced seasonality in rainfall varying from 1000-1800 mm annually, most of which falls during a six averages about 28° C (EWEL and MADRIZ,1968). The flooding of 80-95% of the savannas during the wet season contrasts sharply with the dry season when only lagoons, river, their interlocking tributaries (caños), or man-made reservoirs is highly productive during the wet season but almost entirely dies or defoliates during the dry season (e.g., see TAMAYO,1961). The environmental factors affecting the local biota are extreme; organisms must be well adapted to meet these extremes.
Caiman crocodilus is widespread throughout northern South America and Southern Central America. Although population have recently suffered greatly due to hide- hunting, this specie is common in the Venezuela Llanos. The nesting strategy of Llanos caimans differs from that in other portions of its range (STATON and DIXON, in press), apparently an effect of the pronounced seasonal rainfall. The present paper details some ecological characteristics of this crocodilian during the intense dry season.