Scientists have captured a rare video of a wild jaguar attacking and killing an ocelot, a type of wild cat.
The never-before-seen footage was captured in the Maya Biosphere Reserve of Guatemala in March of 2019, and posted on December 28th in the journal Biotropica. It is the first time the attack between the two species has ever been caught on camera.
Ocelots are a wild cat native to the southwestern United States, Central, and South America. The species normally grows to about 18 to 44 pounds, compared to the 200 to 250-pound jaguar, according to the journal.
In the video, the smaller ocelot enters from the right and walks toward the edge of a small water hole. As it bends down to take a drink, the jaguar leaps on the smaller cat and drags it away in its mouth.
"Although these predator-on-predator interactions may be rare, there may be certain instances when they become more prevalent, and one of those could be over contested water resources," study author Daniel Thornton, an assistant professor in the School of the Environment at Washington State University, said in a statement.
The unusual attack may also be a result of an exceptionally dry period in Guatemala.
"The more isolated and rare water resources become, the more they're going to become hotspots of activity," Thornton said.
Although both cats are carnivores, both species usually feed on animals such as fish, frogs, rodents, and monkeys.