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Denver Zoo: Lizard babies deserve love, too

Some babies are cuter than others. It's harsh, but true.

But ugly babies deserve love, too!

With that in mind, we bring you the Denver Zoo's newest babies: four caiman lizard-lings born in September and October.

The sex of the lizard babies is still unknown. But here's what we do know: These babies are badasses with snail-crackin' teeth and heads that turn red.

Exhibit A, courtesy of the zoo:

Caiman lizards are known to be snail specialists. Their jaws are so strong that they can crack open -- in seconds -- hard snail shells that can resist the jaws of various other predators. Their teeth and tongues are also specialized to clear the broken parts of the shell out of their mouth while keeping the actual snail inside of their mouths to eat.

That is disgusting/fascinating.

Exhibit B:

This species is also quite aquatic. While many of their lizard relatives are primary terrestrial, caiman lizards spend at least half of their time in or near water in flooded, swampy habitats.

You know what hangs out in swamps? Shit you don't want to mess with.

Exhibit C:

Caiman lizards get their name from their appearance, because they so closely resemble caiman crocodiles, particularly from the neck down. One significant difference is the lizard has a reddish-orange head. During mating season the male's head turns an even brighter shade of red.

Um... Nevermind.

Exhibit D:

In the wild, caiman lizards live in the South America's Amazon Basin, in countries such as Brazil, Peru and Ecuador. They can grow to between 2 to 4 feet long and weigh up to 6 pounds.

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Melanie Asmar is a staff writer for Westword. She joined the paper in 2009 and has won awards for her stories about education, immigration and epic legal battles. Got a tip? She'd love to hear it.
Contact: Melanie Asmar