What Do Jaguars Eat?

Eric Kilby/CC-BY-SA 2.0

Jaguars eat turtles, fish caimans and other river animals. They also eat larger prey like deer, tapirs and capybaras. Because jaguars can climb trees, they can eat monkeys as well.

Jaguars are one of the few cats who have no problem with water. They are powerful swimmers, and they eat river animals as part of their main diet. They are able to climb trees with their power forearms and claws and eat many animals that live in trees as well as anything on the ground in the forest through leaping ambushes from above. Jaguars are adaptable enough that even beyond the rivers and the forest, they can hunt in grasslands as well. Instead of attacking the neck like most predators, jaguars prefer to bit prey in the back of the head, going directly into their brains with their canine teeth. This is only possible because jaguars have some of the strongest jaws among feline animals. Their climbing ability allows jaguars to carry prey to the tops of trees in order to keep it away from other predators. Jaguars can carry prey twice their own size up trees. They are also capable of killing prey to eat while swimming unlike many other cats.