The Toasted Caiman, also known as the Lesser Black Caiman, is found in the rivers of South America. Its range is from Surinam to Peru, with the main concentration in the 880,000 square kilometre Orinoco Basin on the borders of Colombia and Venezuela.
This caiman grows to a length of around five metres and is jet black from birth. Like all other alligators, the Toasted Caiman is mainly a carnivore, eating anything that enters the water. It does also eat other food such as fruit, when it’s nursing an injured jaw. This animal is unusual because it always attacks prey from underneath rather than head on. This method comes in very useful when the caiman attacks its most famous prey, the Electric Eel. The bodies of these eels contain electric organs with about 6,000 specialized cells called electrocytes that store power like batteries. When threatened, these cells will emit a burst of at least 600 volts.
This is an extract from the book Animals Evolution Avoided