Capture and Breeding of the Tobago Caiman

Hans E.A. Boos


While conducting studies and collecting specimens for his two volume work, “Los Crocodylia de Sur America,” Professor Frederico M. Medem (1912-1984) visited Trinidad in 1972, and with my brother Julius O. Boos, made a trip to Tobago to collect and examine specimens of the “alligators” which had been recorded from this island by Woodcock (1867), though not officially listed until 1969 by Mertens. The specimens, collected at Hillsborough Dam in the mountains of central Tobago, sparked the interest of Medem, as they seemed below the ‘normal’ adult size for the species Caiman crocodilurus. Medem (1983) later stated that the Tobago population “posiblemente representa un nueva subspecie,” and in correspondence with the author, in February 1983, he again stated, “I am almost sure that the caimans from Tobago represent a new subspecies, possibly due to island dwarfism.”

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