Enclosure status
IUCN status
Least Concern
Scientific name
Dracaena guianensis
Nothern South America
Rainforest and swampland

Caiman lizard facts

  • Caiman lizards are a large semi-aquatic species, spending most of their time in or near water.
  • The caiman lizard's long flattened, paddle-like tail helps it swim.
  • The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species regulates movement between countries, of the Cayman lizard.
  • They have specialised teeth designed to deal with their food, such as snails. The molars are large and flattened, enabling them to crush shells.

What do caiman lizards look like?

The caiman lizard is a colourful creature, featuring a dark orange/red head which blends into a green on the main part of its body and then to a black or brown on its tail.  They are covered in large scales, similar to a crocodile.

What do caiman lizards eat? 

Snails, insects and crabs.

Caiman lizard eating a snail
© Shutterstock
Caiman lizard at London Zoo

Caiman lizard threats

This species was previously hunted for its skin, but since protection was introduced in the 1970s they are no longer thought to be threatened with extinction.

Reptiles at London Zoo

Philippine Crocodile
The Secret Life of Reptiles and Amphibians

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Our reptiles

  • Anam leaf turtle at London Zoo
    Mauremys annamensis

    Annam leaf turtle

    The anam leaf turtle is one of the most endangered reptiles on earth, there are only around 50 remaining individuals in the wild. Little is known about them, and at our at our conservation Zoo we are working to better understand the species.

  • King cobra
    Ophiophagus hannah

    King cobra

    These massive snakes grow 18 feet long and primarily eat other snakes.

  • David Attenborough with Komodo dragon at London Zoo
    Varanus komodoensis

    Komodo dragon

    The largest and heaviest reptile in the world, which can eat up to 80% of its body weight in just one feeding.

  • Female Lake Oku frog
    Xenopus longipes

    Lake Oku clawed frog

    Lake Oku frogs are only found in one tiny lake in Cameroon, and we were the first to ever successfully breed this critically endangered species.

  • Black axolotl
    Ambystoma mexicanum


    They have the ability to regenerate digits and limbs, and despite being commonly bred in captivity, they are almost extinct in the wild.

  • Philippine Crocodile at London Zoo
    Crocodylus mindorensis

    Philippine crocodile

    There are one only around 120 left in the wild, but we are working to recover Philippine crocodiles at the Zoo and in the field.

  • Visit London Zoo
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