Dramatic still images of a jaguar ambushing an unwary caiman in Brazil's Pantanal wetlands went viral on the web this month. National Geographic has exclusive video of the attack that reveals what the pictures only hint at.
With one bite, the big cat likely delivered an immediate blow to the caiman's central nervous system, leaving the animal unable to fight or flee, according to Luke Dollar, a conservation scientist who helps manage National Geographic’s Big Cats Initiative.
"This guy knew his business," said Dollar. Suffocating an animal with a bite to the neck is a classic big-cat maneuver, but caimans don’t have a discernable neck. So the jaguar—which has the strongest bite of any cat—went right for the skull.