The northern caiman lizard, Dracaena guianensis, is a species of lizard found in northern South America.
The caiman lizard is built similarly to its cousin the tegu, with a large heavy set body and short but powerful limbs. Its head is bulky and often a red or orange color. Their jaws are heavily muscular to help aid in eating its normal prey of snails, crawfish and fresh water clams. It also has a few adaptations that help it in its watery habitat. It has a long and flattened tail, similar to its namesake, the caiman. The long tail helps the caiman lizard to successfully swim and dive. A clear third eyelid is thought to act like a pair of goggles underwater.
The northern caiman lizard spends most of its time in or near water. At night, it hides in trees and bushes. Caiman lizards in the wild will take a variety of prey: snails, fish, crawfish, clams, invertebrate and other freshwater inhabitants all can make up a caiman lizards diet. However they do specialize in snails. It takes the snail in the jaws, raises its head up so that the prey will slide into the back of the mouth, then crushes it with its back teeth. It then spits out the pieces of shell. The lizard has been known to even kill and eat amazon river turtles by crushing the shell by the edges and eating the softer parts chunk after chunk. It has also been known to burrow like its cousin the tegu.