We describe the gonadal and abdominal fat storage cycles for a population of Caiman crocodilus fuscus kept in captivity at a breeding farm. The reproductive cycles of males and females are clearly seasonal. Vitellogenic follicles were observed in females year-round; however, the follicular growth that produces the preovulatory follicles for the breeding season occurs in November-May (most of the dry season to the beginning of the rainy season). These months correspond with the presence of physiologically reproductive males. Oviposition takes place during the wet season (April-August) and the births occur at the end of this season (September-November). Fat storage was not related to reproductive activity, and did not vary by month or between sexes. Although environmental and hormonal conditions have been improved for these captive animals, they maintain a strongly seasonal reproductive cycle, historically fixed to oviposit in the most favorable period for nest construction and hatching during the rainy season. (C) 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
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