This video comes from my latest trip to Chichén Itzá. The animals and plants in these pictures here were significant to the culture of the ancient Mayas. Mayan art found in temples and architecture, specifically in Tikal (one of the four most powerful trade centers in ancient Mayan culture besides Chichén Itzá) show that the territory where the Maya lived was a jungle.
Hundreds of birds, including colorful parrots, golden turkeys, and hummingbirds flocked the Mayan cities. Spider moneys and snakes also lived in the jungle, along with jaguars, pumas, deer, and ocelots. Not only were animals such as the jaguar abundant in ancient Maya territory but they were also sacred. One has to only hear the names of the great Mayan lords and kings to see the importance of the jaguar in Mayan culture. The name of the first ruler of Tikal was Jaguar Paw, whose rule began about A.D. 320. From 488 to 537 another king ruled Tikal whose name was Jaguar Paw Skull. And about 682, a famous Mayan ruler named Ah Cacau (Lord Chocolate) ordered a massive, magnificent temple called the Temple of the Giant Jaguar to be built in the city of Tikal.
The Maya also hunted jaguars; they used their pelts (coats) to make cloaks to be specially worn by nobles and military leaders.
Watch this six-minute video and turn up the volume so you can appreciate the pictures of the ancient Maya culture.