This Jaguar Takes on a Fierce Caiman for Dinner

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Written by Hannah Crawford

Published: February 28, 2024

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Male Jaguar (Panthera onca) running in water and chasing, Cuiaba river, Pantanal, Mato Grosso, Brazil

Jaguars are easily known as one of the apex predators of the wild animal kingdom. They are fierce hunters of animals that are even larger than they are. The video above shares as the main header that this jaguar is hunting a crocodile. However, after looking closer, it is clear that this animal is a caiman. Don’t miss this action in the video above. 

Jaguar Hunts for Food

The YouTube video clip at the top of this blog post shares footage of a hungry jaguar who’s willing to hunt something much larger than he is. The Gancet World YouTube channel shared this video with their 355,000+ subscribers. This page supports all things wild animals, such as birds, elephants, possums, African wild dogs, wildebeests, and crocodiles. 

Jaguar Bites Off More Than He Can Chew

As the video above starts out, we see that someone was able to catch this amazing hunt on film. The jaguar already has this caiman in his grip. While it might be easy to confuse a caiman with a crocodile, just as the video poster did, they are in fact different animals. The caiman’s scientific name is Caiman crocodilus, but oddly enough, they are of the family Alligatoridae. 

The caiman is on his back, and the jaguar has a tight grip. Suddenly, the caiman does a death roll. According to Scientific American, this is a very popular skill that crocodiles have over their victims. “The behavior is the powerful and violent twisting that wrenches limbs from sockets and muscle from bone.” These terrible turns usually result in the death of the prey. 

 The caiman was likely hoping to drown this hunter. However, the jaguar adapts quickly and flips over, using his massive canine teeth. There is a struggle, but ultimately, this jaguar has this caiman pinned down. 

What Do Jaguars Eat?


Jaguars move at high speeds and can reach up to 50 miles per hour.

©Sergey Uryadnikov/

Jaguars (Panthera onca) are carnivore cats that live in Central America, North America, and South America. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service shares that jaguars prey on animals such as peccaries, capybaras, pacas, agoutis, deer, opossums, rabbits, armadillos, turtles, livestock, birds, fish, and caimans. 

As we can see, they have a wide array of animals that they will eat. Jaguars are commonly known as opportunistic hunters. This means that they will hunt whatever is nearby and the easiest for them to get. Well, we’re not sure that this caiman was the easiest for him to get. However, despite the size difference, he handled it like a pro!

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About the Author

Hannah Crawford is a writer at A-Z Animals where she focuses on reptiles, mammals, and locations in Africa. Hannah has been researching and writing about animals and various countries for over eight years. She holds a Bachelors Degree in Communication\Performance Studies from Pensacola Christian College, which she earned in 2015. Hannah is a resident in Florida, and enjoys theatre, poetry, and growing her fish tank.

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