ndemic in this part of the planet, the Yacaré overo (Caimán latirostris) is distributed in the aquatic areas of Formosa, Cordoba, Entre Ríos and Misiones, although it’s not unusual to find some specimens in Santa Fe.
With a size larger than the 2.5 meters in its adult age, this reptile, the same as his cousin the black yacaré, has its eyes, nostrils and ears adapted mainly for hunting in water.
With scales that combine an intense green with grey tones, this reptile eats with voracity from snakes and fish to medium sized mammals like the corzuela going through all kinds of birds, amphibians and crabs. It is very common that it feeds from dead animals.
Submerged during great part of the winter, the yacaré overo mates in spring and the female can lay up to 40 white eggs. The birth stage of this animal is the only time of vulnerability. In that case, ferrets, lizards, herons and storks are some of the species that devour the offspring.
One of this reptile’s particularity is that it often swallows rocks from the bottom of the river or the shore. It’s unknown what is the function of such stomach rocks, that in the scientific jargon are known as “gastroliths”.
Not until a few years ago it was theorized that they could help smash their food, as it happens with some birds but later it was observed that the powerful gastric fluids of the yacare alone could dissolve fish bones and mollusk shell. Nowadays, it is considered that these gastroliths favour immersion and a better maneuvering in the river courses.
Being the yaguareté its natural enemy in its adult stage, the yacare overo hunts primarily at night and obtains most of its prey in the contiguity of the waters where it lives.
The demand for leather, which the shoe industry boasts, with the contribution of the agricultural advance over its domains, put this cousin of the crocodiles in a state of probable extinction.