Amazing amateur videos of wild jaguars hunting
Have you ever wondered how did the sabertooth cats hunt? Here is a clue: with a lot of patience. Many sabertooth cats were strong, short legged animals uncapable of long chases, so they would need to come VERY close to their intended prey and get to it in a few bounds. Among extant cats, the jaguar (Panthera onca) is the species that more closely resembles some sabertooths in body proportions. In terms of relative lenght and robusticity of the limb segments, the jaguar is almost identical to the sabertooth cat Megantereon, and to the early species of Smilodon, S. gracilis.
So, watching a jaguar hunt would be a useful observation in terms of making inferences about how Megantereon and its relatives could catch their prey. But jaguars are shy animals and they have rarely been seen hunting in the wild. But with more tourists traveling to wonderful wildlife reserves in South America we are beginning to see some amazing footage of never-before seen behaviour. Here are a couple of links to amateur videos of jaguars hunting capibara, the largest living rodent.
The cats show the endless patience and careful stalk that sabertooths must have displayed as well, and the powerful low gallop that covers the distance between predator and prey in a blink of the eye. Also impressive is the size of the capibara, a truly impressive creature…