Jaguars are the largest big cat in the world outside of lions and tigers.
They can grow to lengths of up to 6-feet long and frequently weigh as much as 200-pounds. Some of the largest male jaguars on record have tipped the scales at almost 350-pounds.
Jaguars mostly inhabit South and Central America, but their populations are recovering through Mexico as well. Historically their native range also included Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and even parts of Louisiana and California as well.
There is currently a research projectunderway to determine the feasibility of reintroducing the species to the southwest United States (umm, what!?).
The species is featured prominently in Mayan, Incan and Aztec mythology and was worshipped as a deity known for their power, ferocity, and valor.
The exotic spotted pattern of their fur not only looks really cool, but it actually serves as camouflage when they’re hunting in dense shadowy forests and swamps as well. Jaguars are some of the most fierce hunters on the planet, with a bite strong enough to crush the shells of turtles and tortoises and the skulls of other common prey.
These apex predators are mostly solitary a hunt through opportunistic spot and stalk methods. They are mostly active at night, but do hunt during the day sometimes as well. Like most cats they are able bodied climbers who spend a lot of time in the trees, and will even hunt arboreal species like monkeys and birds.
Jaguars have been documented hunting as many as 85 different species. They do not fear the water and are the most aquatic of all big cats, frequently hunting in and around waterbodies for anything they can sink their teeth into.
That awesome hunting ability is best documented by incredible videos like this that showcase just how amazing these cats at are at hunting caimans.
Usually, it’s gators, crocs and caimans attacking animals on the shore, however for this swimming jaguar, the tables are turned.