Watch a Fearless Jaguar Divebomb a Caiman Like a Kamikaze Pilot

Written by Crystal
Updated: April 19, 2023
© L-N/
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Key Points:

  • Right before leaping 25 feet into the water, the jaguar sprints along the branch — enough noise to alert the caiman, which can sense sounds of impending danger inaudible to humans.
  • When stalking their ground-dwelling prey, jaguars rely on ambush techniques, using their climbing skills to scale trees and wait until unsuspecting animals come into their line of sight.
  • These big cats are highly opportunistic hunters and can take down anything they come across, including deer, capybaras, tapirs, and turtles.

This incredible footage captures the moment a brave jaguar dives 25 feet into the water to take on its prey, an unsuspecting caiman. It’s like watching a kamikaze pilot dive straight down into the river. Will it catch its meal? Or will the caiman hear the trouble coming? Read on to find out!

The scene opens with a close-up of a big, gorgeous jaguar. The impressive wild cat is standing tall. Fully grown, jaguars can reach heights of nine feet, with a shoulder height just below three feet. They can also weigh as much as 350 pounds!

Then the video cuts to a shot of the big cat perching on a tree branch, ready to pounce. Unbeknownst to the caiman swimming below, the jaguar is about to turn its hunting mission into a daring divebomb.

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The people filming the spectacular event are on a boat, not far from the action. You can hear their excited exclamations and chuckles as the jaguar makes its move. The scene beats any live dinner show you could ever see.

In an impressive display of agility, the jaguar leaps from its branch and straight into the water below in one swift motion. With a big splash, the animals collide. Everything happens so fast! But don’t worry; there’s a slow-motion replay.

Look closely. The slow-motion replay of the big splash reveals that the caiman may have been aware something was up. It’s an incredible feat.

Did you see how the caiman splashes around just before the jaguar lands in the water? He can hear that trouble’s coming!

Is the Jaguar Successful?

Jaguars are opportunistic hunters.

©George Arenas/

Caimans’ ears may be elusive, yet they possess remarkable hearing abilities. Located slightly behind their eyes, they can sense sounds inaudible to humans. Right before leaping into the water, the jaguar does an Olympian sprint down the branch. It was enough to alert the reptile of impending danger.

With its sharp sense of hearing, does the caiman escape unharmed and live to see another day? Not this time. The video ends with the proud jaguar swimming away from the crime scene with a freshly caught meal in its jaws.

Is It Normal for Jaguars to Attack Caimans?

The treetops make a perfect perch for jaguars to stalk their prey.

©Sergey Uryadnikov/

Even though the powerful, intimidating jaws of the caiman may be enough to ward off most predators, that doesn’t stop jaguars from consistently preying on them and their eggs. This means the cat you saw above is exhibiting totally normal behavior for a hungry jaguar. These fearsome felines are capable of using their incredible climbing skills to lie in wait among the limbs of a tree until an unsuspecting creature wanders into its line of sight to unleash the strength of its teeth and claws.

Hunting is a way of life for jaguars. And caimans are just one of the things on the menu. As highly opportunistic hunters, jaguars can take down anything they come across. These big cats enjoy hunting capybaras, tapirs, deer, turtles, and more.

When stalking their ground-dwelling prey, they rely on their ambush techniques instead of chasing after them like cheetahs or lions. Once they grab their prey they can use their massive jaws to pierce the skull with one bite!

The jaguar’s bravery and skill are extraordinary in this breathtaking video. It reminds us of nature’s power and how animals can surprise us with their courage and resourcefulness. Watch below to see for yourself!

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About the Author

Crystal is always looking to learn more, and share her finds with you along the way. It's amazing how you can spend your entire life living with plants and animals, but still know so little about them! Let's explore our world together as Crystal covers topics about creatures, places, and experiences.

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