The adult dwarf caiman conceals itself during the day in burrows below water level which can be up to 1.5 metres long (4). This species only leaves the water very rarely (4).
Very few investigations into the reproduction of the dwarf caiman have been conducted, therefore little information is currently known. This species can be found in pairs and alone throughout the year and no set breeding season has yet been described (5). The female builds its nest in a concealed location, using leaf debris and mud to create a small mound (5). Clutch sizes vary between 15 and 25 eggs (4), and the female guards the nest during the 90 day incubation period (5). Despite a lack of research into post-hatching care by the adults, it has been noted that, particularly during the dry season, hatchlings and females will remain together in a burrow (8). The juveniles will generally remain with the adults until they are around 21 months of age (9).
Dwarf caiman juveniles are found to eat mainly invertebrates such as crustaceans (5), while the diet of an adult is more varied and includes fish, crabs and shrimp (8).