We are used to seeing reptiles emerge from the water and grab animals on the shore. Crocodiles are masters of this and seem to appear out of nowhere! In the below clip, we get to see a terrestrial animal, namely a jaguar, emerge from the water and leap on a caiman. Strangely, the big cat drags the reptile back into the water but looks as if it is heading for the other side of the river.
Where Do Jaguars Normally Live?
Jaguars are robust members of the Felidae family with the scientific name Panthera onca. However, there are several subspecies. Their current full range covers the Southwestern U.S., stretching through Mexico and Central America, into northern South America. This means that they can be spotted in several countries including Argentina and Peru as well as the United States. They are the largest feline on the American continent.
The different subspecies tend to live in different geographical locations. For example, the Arizona Jaguar (P. onca arizonensis) is unsurprisingly found in Arizona as well as New Mexico. Similarly, the Peruvian jaguar (P. o. peruviana) is found in coastal Peru.
In terms of habitat, these guys like to live in areas with dense vegetation cover because they use it for stalking prey. So, you will find them in dense lowland and montane tropical forests. They like to live near water and so are often spotted along rivers and around swamps and lagoons. However, they can also be found in succulent and thorn scrub, temperate broadleaf forests, and even semi-desert scrub grasslands.
Are Jaguars Good Swimmers?
If you have a pet cat that hates water you may be surprised to see this big cat looking so comfortable in the river. Swimming is a big part of the jaguar’s lifestyle. They love to live near water and can often be spotted happily swimming from one forested area to another during seasonal flooding. They have adapted to swim confidently in lakes, rivers, and wetlands. However, they do not swim for very long distances.
It is common to see jaguars hunting near water. They use an ambush method of hunting as we see here. We also get to see another common behavior which is grasping the prey and dragging it to another location with suitable cover to eat it. Jaguars sometimes carry their prey over large distances!
Watch the Fascinating Footage Below
The photo featured at the top of this post is © Gurkan Ozturk/Shutterstock.com
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