Jaguars are famously unfussy eaters. These big cats will scoff down just about anything they can catch, including anacondas, capybaras, feral pigs, cattle, giant anteaters, peccaries, and even caimans

This astonishing footage of a watery tussle between a jaguar and a caiman was captured recently by student Danielle Hunter and her brother Edward. The siblings, along with guide Eduardo Falcao and photographer Eduard Sangster, were cruising down the Corixo Negro River in Brazil’s Encontros das Águas State Park when they spotted the bulky cat. Jaguars are widespread in Central and South America, but they are notoriously elusive, and spotting one in the wild is no easy feat. The Pantanal in Brazil – an impressive whack of wetland covering 70,000 square miles (181,300 square kilometres) located right in the centre of South America – is one of the best areas to catch a glimpse of these big cats in their natural habitat. And if you’re really lucky, they’ll put on a show.

Hunter and her group watched as the jaguar cautiously waded towards an unsuspecting caiman that was lurking near the shoreline. A 15-minute wrestling match ensued as cat and crocodilian twisted and rolled in the murky shallows. Eventually, the jaguar claimed victory and dragged the caiman out of the water where it delivered the fatal blow.

Armed with remarkably powerful jaws, impressive fangs and heaps of predatory ability in the water, jaguars are well-equipped for the tricky task of caiman catching. They have been recorded crushing through the shells of freshwater turtles with ease, and can deliver a trademark killing bite to the back of the neck or skull that quickly and efficiently subdues potentially dangerous prey like crocodilians or snakes.

“You can hear me gasping in the video and my brother and I kept glancing at each other with looks of amazement because it was an incredible event to witness,” Hunter told the Daily Mail. The Hunter siblings and their group are among a select few who have had the chance to witness this sort of predatory spectacle firsthand. Back in 2013, National Geographic released footage of a jaguar ambushing a mudbank-basking caiman (a clip that has since racked up 56 million views on YouTube):

And in 2015, another big cat was caught on camera hurling itself into the water in pursuit of a crocodilian meal:

Top header image: cuatrok77, Flickr