“Jaguar” It called “Scarface” attacks and kills a crocodile in the Pantanal River

What Winter documented next unfolded in only 15 seconds.

Bobbing his head underwater to firmly grasp his prey, Scarface emerged from the river with a caiman in his jaws.

Jaguars are big cats, the third largest in the world, but Winter’s photos show the caiman to be nearly twice as large.

Maneuvering out of the water quickly and gracefully, Scarface drags the reptile fully out of the water and into dense forest cover.

Winter couldn’t see what happened next, but presumes that once the jaguar’s powerful teeth punctured the caiman’s vertebrae, its fate was sealed.

When he finally saw Scarface make a kill, Winter says, he was full of adrenaline, and his hand was cramping from holding down the shutter button on his camera for so long.

– Fulfilling Meal –

While the hunting sequence isn’t commonly documented, caimans are a well-known source of food for jaguars.

During this region’s dry season, animals like caimans and capybaras can be found more abundantly in and around rivers.

“It’s like the jaguars‘ supermarket,” says Winter.

Jaguars are able to hold onto larger, powerful prey like caiman because of the way they hunt. Other big cats kill their prey by clamping their jaws around its neck and suffocating it.

Jaguars instead kill by puncturing their prey with powerful bites.

“Jaguars are built for power, not for speed,” notes Winter. “They have strong upper body strength, and an incredible jaw.”

He says he and his camera crew frequently saw jaguars swimming upstream for hours in search of dinner.

In the Pantanal, jaguars seem to take little notice of his small fishing boat, Winter says.

In their range, which extends from the northern tip of Argentina to the U.S.-Mexico border, the Brazilian nature reserve is the only region in which they’re fully protected.

Winter plans to one day return to the Pantanal and further document jaguars. He’s unsure if Scarface, now more than a decade old, will still be around. He presumes it will be a new alpha he chases.

Ref: nationalgeographic, livescience, quora, theyucatantimes, wildfact

Pic: reddit, bamsafari, wildfact, quora, tomdyring, hotcore, theyucatantimes, pinterest, photosafaris, naturetrek

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