Friday, October 16, 2015

Watch: Jaguar leaps into the water to snatch a caiman

By Earth Touch 
October 16 2015

Jaguars are the definition of the unfussy eater. Scientists have recorded more than 85 different species on the big cats' menu ... including fully grown caimans.

In this short clip posted to YouTube last month, one of these apex predators can be seen leaping into the water in pursuit of an invisible target. When the cat comes into view again moments later, tourists who appear to be filming the spectacle get to witness the jaguar's brief battle with the caiman, before the victor drags its spoils into the undergrowth.

The local name for jaguars, "yaguara", means "a beast that kills its prey with one bound" – and we certainly get to see that play out here. The ambush hunters rely on surprise before dispatching prey with extremely powerful jaws and teeth – unlike other big cats, they often kill by piercing the skull with their canines (a technique that also works well for "cracking open" turtle shells).

This isn't the first time jaguars have impressed us with their caiman-hunting skills. Back in 2013, National Geographic released footage of this stealthy attack filmed in Brazil's Pantanal wetlands:


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