Black Caiman Nest: Egg Excavation

  

Continuing our work from last month, we ventured to Lake 3 once again. The female caiman spotted previously had appeared in the same spot—placing herself defensively between us and the small island. Our first attempt at searching for the nest just one week before was unsuccessful since the female growled and charged at us as we tried to approach the water. Her excellent hearing and vision made it easy for her to detect our movement, especially as a group of only three individuals. This time with the help of volunteers, one group was able to distract the female while another crossed over to the island. The nest was located under an aguaje palm tree on the highest point of the island. The eggs were found in the nest 60 centimeters below the surface protected by aguaje roots, their decomposing leaves, and pieces of old termite nest. Inside the nest were a total of 15 eggs, 14 healthy and 1 rotten. We have collected one healthy egg to be artificially incubated back at Panthera. 

 

This photo of the dead egg reveals the discoloration and deterioration of the shell

compared to the healthy eggs above

 

Alexandra Lopez


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