Jaguar along the river bank. It was a very hot and sultry day as we made our way along the river in Brazil’s northern Pantanal. A female Jaguar emerged from the undergrowth. She swam and walked through the water before heading back into the undergrowth and vanished from our sight. Watching a Jaguar along the river bank is always an impressive sight.
In the Northern Pantanal, male Jaguars have an average weight of 95kg and stand 0.75m at the shoulder. The structure of the jaw (muscles and teeth) give the jaguar a greater bite force than any other cat. They can kill any reptile (one of their favourite prey species in the Yacare Caiman) with a single bite to the right point on the brain cavity. Jaguars will take a wide range of prey species but the preferred species appear to be peccaries, capybaras, and caiman. One of the issues for the jaguar is that they frequently take cattle which makes them a target for farmers.
The Pantanal is the world’s largest tropical wet land and flooded grasslands. Whilst mostly located in the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso do Sul, it also extends into Mato Grosso and parts of Paraguay and Bolivia. It covers an area of up to 195,00 square kilometres (75,000 square miles) and some 80%of the floodplains are submerged during the rainy season. It is a remarkable place.