Creeping Creatures

Cuvier’s dwarf caiman, Paleosuchus palpebrosus

Rarely longer than five feet, this widespread South American alligator relative is the smallest species of living crocodilians. In contrast to most other crocodilians, it prefers fast moving streams with relatively cool water. Rare in collections before the 1980s, it is now bred in captivity.


Vampire bat, Desmodus rotundus

It might seem surprising that Vampire bats have the fewest number of teeth of any bat — only 20, most of them tiny. However the incisors and canines, that dominate their jaws, are superbly suited to slice through skin, giving their owner access to the blood that is its sole food. Found from Northern Mexico to Chile, they prey on a wide variety of sleeping mammals and birds, including occasional humans (who are often attacked through their toes). They do well in captivity, and most zoo specimens are captive-bred. Their DWA diet is cow’s blood.