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Crocodiles are incredibly fascinating creatures that have roamed this earth for around 200 million years. At our Caiman Crocodiles exhibit, you have the chance to come face to face with our very own curious caimans – the Cuvier’s dwarf caiman to be precise! So, let’s discover more about what this exhibit is all about, and what else you’ll find here.

What is the Caiman Crocodiles exhibit?

Blue Planet Aquarium is home to the Cuvier’s dwarf caiman (Paleosuchus palpebrosus), which is the world’s smallest living New World crocodilian. It is native to South America, typically found in rivers, streams and mangrove swamps. The Cuvier’s dwarf caiman can grow up to 1.6 metres in length, but they are still incredibly mighty creatures.

Our exhibit gives you the chance to see these fascinating animals up close so you can learn a little more about this species, as well as showcasing some of our other incredible sea creatures that call Blue Planet Aquarium home.

What’s it like at this exhibit?

Our Caiman Crocodiles exhibit aims to mimic the diverse ecosystem of a mangrove swamp, with both fresh and saltwater present as well as a tropical climate. Mangroves make for a great natural habitat for the creatures in this exhibit, as they provide refuge from extreme weather.

With that in mind, you’ll find our Caiman Crocodiles exhibit to be a truly fascinating one, with plenty to see and learn about.

What will I find at this exhibit?

The Caiman Crocodiles exhibit is home to much more than just the Cuvier’s dwarf caiman! Here are just some of the species you’ll find here:

Geoffroy’s side-necked turtle (Phrynops geoffroanus): Typically found in South America, this species of turtle lives in rivers, streams, lagoons and marshes. They love basking in the sun and are excellent swimmers. Also known as the Geoffroy’s toadhead turtle, they are carnivores and feed on fish, insects and molluscs.

Chisel-tooth cichlid (Cichlasoma bocourti): This particular species of cichlid is found across Central America, mostly through Guatemala and Belize. They are pale green in colour with vertical black bars, changing colour to yellow when they are ready to spawn. Chisel-tooth cichlids get their name quite literally from its teeth, which help them to feed on vegetation.

Jack Dempsey (Rocio octofasciata): This fish is a type of cichlid found across South America, getting its name from its likeness to the 1920s boxer, thanks to its aggressive nature and strong features. As the fish matures, it changes colour to a dark purple-grey with bright flecks of blue, green and gold – but it can change colour again when stressed. 

Pearl cichlid (Geophagus brasiliensis): Another fish native to South America, the pearl cichlid is usually found in brackish water such as rivers, lakes and lagoons. They are multicoloured, featuring a body that can be light brown to dark blue-purple, with black markings, bright blue speckles and red fins. The pearl cichlid can change colour during mating and depending on its mood.

Who would enjoy this exhibit?

Anyone fascinated by the diverse range of aquatic creatures in our world would love the Caiman Crocodiles exhibit. This part of our aquarium showcases a great array of species, giving you the chance to get up close and see them in all their glory. From caimans to cichlids, our exhibit is home to some really interesting creatures, including some that you may not have heard of before!


At Blue Planet Aquarium we have done all we can to ensure the aquarium is as accessible as possible, but please get in touch if you have any queries or concerns.

Current Water Temp

27 / 80

Water Type

Fresh Water and Salt Water

Climate / Biome

Tropical Mangroves

In This Exhibit

35 species | 250 animals

Where are we?

Central and South America

In This Exhibit

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