Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Yacare Caiman - Pantanal, Brazil

A photograph of a Yacare Caiman taken in the Pantanal in Brazil
Yacare Caiman (Caiman yacare) - Pantanal, Brazil

The Yacare Caiman is one of the most common animals in the Pantanal where around 10 million individuals exist. We visited the Pantanal in the dry season and saw Caiman gathered around every water hole and stream that we came across. I was fortunate to be able to photograph them while they were feeding at a waterhole by the main road.

More photographs inside.
A photograph of a Yacare Caiman feeding on fish in the Pantanal in Brazil
 A feeding Yacare Caiman (Caiman yacare) - Pantanal, Brazil

I was able to photograph this individual from a bridge above the waterhole as he fed on a fish. I stopped at the waterhole to photograph the Giant River Otter and didn't realise that there were Caiman present as they were surprisingly well hidden amongst the vegetation. They gave themselves away when they started snapping and chomping at their prey. I know the photograph above is a bit graphic but that was how fresh the kill was.

A photograph of a Yacare Caiman taken in the Pantanal in Brazil
Yacare Caiman (Caiman yacare) - Pantanal, Brazil

This species is a medium sized crocodilian with males growing up to around the 2-2.5 meter mark. Females are smaller and measure around 1.4 meters. the Caiman in the photograph above was one of the bigger animals that I was able to see and photograph. Photographing them during the day was pretty easy as the light was good and they gathered around waterholes to sunbathe.

A photograph of a Yacare Caiman taken in the Pantanal in Brazil
A group of sunbathing Yacare Caiman (Caiman yacare) - Pantanal, Brazil

These photographs were taken with the Canon 100-400mm lens mounted on the Canon 7D body. I didn't use a tripod for any of these shots as the light was good. The photographs were taken while I was in a boat or walking. I would have loved to get a bit closer to them and take some wide-angle photographs from closer to the ground but wasn't able to do so. There is always next time!




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