Jaguar

ANIMAL:
Jaguar         Panthera onca

Type of Animal:
Feline

Habitat:
Tropical/subtropical forest, grassland, rivers, marshland, small caves, shrubland, savanna, swamps, scrubland, woodlands, desert, dry forest, lower mountainous areas, wetlands, floodplains

Location(s):
Mexico & C. America south to Paraguay & N. Argentina. Returning to parts of S.W. US in Arizona & New Mexico. Historically, found in S. California & S. Texas.

Appearance:
Most specimens yellow-orange w/ black spots, square head, & muscular build. Also mutations of black jaguars. Look a lot like leopards but larger.

Food/Diet:
Capybara, anteaters, agoutis, mice, rats, squirrels, pacas, cavies, nutrias, deer, peccaries, birds, fish, turtles, armadillos, crocodilians, tapirs, monkeys, sheep, cattle, goats, pigs, equines, rabbits, snakes (especially anacondas & boa constrictors), tortoises, domestic dogs, foxes, bush dogs, coatis, sloths, bear cubs, larger lizards, & frogs. There have been a couple rare cases of man-eating jaguars. Anacondas & large crocodilians engage in fights to death w/ jaguar w/ whoever dies 1st being eaten. 

Status in Wild:
Stable

Conservation:
Breeding in zoos & wildlife parks

Lifestyle:
Solitary, though male-female pairs sometimes hunt together/share kills outside of breeding season. Sibling groups also occur.

Additional Info:

Called:
Male-Jaguar
Female-Jaguaress
Young-Cub
Group-Prowl/Leap 

Weight:
Male-110-220 lbs
Female-75-175 lbs
Young-30-70 lbs

Gestation:
3.5 months

Height:
3 ft

Body Length:
3-5 ft

Life Span: 
18-20 years

Tail Length:
1.5-2.5 ft

Males & females very territorial & will fight to the death over territory.

Males will kill cubs that aren’t their own, & sometimes their own cubs.

Declining due to deforestation, poaching for fur/sport, persecution as livestock predators, habitat loss, & competition w/ humans for food.

3rd largest feline after tigers and lions.

Cubs stay w/ mom for 2 years & she defends them from humans & strange male jaguars.

Strange male jaguars kill cubs to put female back into heat.

Sexually mature at 2 years old.

One male territory encompasses 3-4 female territories.

Fun Fact(s):
Word jaguar comes from Mesoamerican word “yaguara” meaning “kills with a bound.”

Jaguars played key roles as gods in Mesoamerican cultures.

THESE CATS SOMETIMES CONSIDERED MORE DANGEROUS THAN LION OR TIGER DUE TO KILLING STYLE OF BITING BRAIN & STRONGER TEETH COMPARED TO OTHER BIG CATS.
 

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