A video of a beautiful jaguar swimming underwater has gone viral online.
The footage was taken at a zoo and shows the stunning animal effortlessly gliding through the water as it looks for food.
Vince Pinto uploaded it to YouTube, writing: "I had no idea that a Jaguar could remain underwater for so long."
He originally uploaded the footage to Imgur, where it has been viewed over 4.5 million times.
The jaguar is the third-largest feline after the tiger and the lion, and the largest in the Americas. The jaguar's present range extends from Southwestern United States and Mexico across much of Central America and south to Paraguay and northern Argentina.
According to Wikipedia, this spotted cat most closely resembles the leopard physically, although it is usually larger and of sturdier build and its behavioural and habitat characteristics are closer to those of the tiger.
While dense rainforest is its preferred habitat, the jaguar will range across a variety of forested and open terrains. It is strongly associated with the presence of water and is notable, along with the tiger, as a feline that enjoys swimming.
The jaguar has an exceptionally powerful bite, even relative to the other big cats. This allows it to pierce the shells of armoured reptiles and to employ an unusual killing method: it bites directly through the skull of prey between the ears to deliver a fatal bite to the brain.
The jaguar is a near threatened species and its numbers are declining. Threats include loss and fragmentation of habitat. While international trade in jaguars or their parts is prohibited, the cat is still frequently killed by humans, particularly in conflicts with ranchers and farmers in South America.
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