by Greg Mayer
Jaguars are the largest species of American cat, and are the top carnivore from the southwestern US to Argentina. In the Pantanal wetlands of southern Brazil, Justin Black took a series of extraordinary photographs showing just how top a carnivore it is, as a jaguar took on, and carried away to eat, an adult caiman.
Black obtained an exquisite set of photos, showing the jaguar spying the caiman from the shore, swimming out to the sand bank on which the caiman rested, sneaking up on it and seizing it from behind, and then carrying the living caiman in its jaws back across the water; the whole set of photos can be seen in the Daily Mail. It is likely that the jaguar eventually dispatched the caiman, and consumed it. Jaguars and anacondas are among the few known predators of adult caimans. This species of caiman grows only to about 8 or 9 feet. The largest species of caiman, the black caiman, reaches 13 feet or so, and there are two species of crocodile in South America that are bigger than that; a jaguar might have trouble handling these larger crocodilians.