Where are the black caimans, Melanosuchus niger (Crocodylia: Alligatoridae), in the Xingu River basin, Brazil?

Zilca Campos, Fábio Muniz, William E Magnusson

Abstract


The black caiman Melanosuchus niger, the largest crocodilian in Brazil, reaches a length total of up to 6 meters and is relatively easy to detect due to its size. Current maps of the distribution of this species include the entire Xingu basin except for the headwaters of the rivers and tributaries of the Xingu River in the state of Mato Grosso. Nocturnal surveys along the river’s upper, middle and lower regions indicate that the  caiman occurs only in the lower Xingu, below the large Volta Grande waterfall.

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