Kw-logo-smaller

Wild Things: Jaguars

Jaguar

Yes, it’s a famous (and pricey) brand of car, but jaguars can also be found in the wild…

Physical Characteristics

The jaguar is one of four big cats in the Panthera genus. The other three are the tiger, lion and leopard. Jaguars are the third-largest feline (cat) in the world after lions and tigers, and, on average, the largest and most powerful feline in the Western Hemisphere. They resemble leopards most closely, although they are usually larger and more sturdily built and live in habitats more similar to the tiger.


A jaguar’s base coat color can range from a tawny yellow to reddish-brown and black and is typically covered in spots, like a leopard or cheetah. About 6% of jaguars are melanistic, meaning they appear entirely black, even thought their spots are still visible when you examine the coat closely. Like other big cats, very few jaguars are born albino, meaning they appear all white.


Compact and well-muscled, jaguars weigh in the range of 124-211 pounds. Large males have been recorded at 350 pounds (the same weight as a female tiger or lion), while some smaller males have been recorded at only 80 pounds. Female jaguars are typically 10-20% smaller than males. Because their limbs are short and stalky, jaguars are great at climbing, crawling and swimming.


Hunting Habits

Jaguars are carnovires – they feed only on meat and prefer large prey like deer and foxes, as well as smaller prey like frogs, mice, birds, fish, monkeys and turtles. They hunt by utilizing the stalk-and-ambush method, stalking their prey before they make a kill. The cat will walk slowly down forest paths, listening for and stalking its prey before rushing or ambushing. Jaguars attack from a hidden place with a quick pounce, surprising their prey. Unlike other wild cats, jaguars very, very rarely attack humans.


Over the years, jaguars have developed an exceptionally powerful bite relative to the other big cats, which allows them to pierce the shells of armoured reptiles and employ an unusual killing method: biting directly through the skull of their prey between the ears, delivering an immediate and fatal blow to the brain. In fact, some experts say jaguars have the strongest bite of all the felines, and the second strongest bite of all mammals in the world.


Home and Habitat

Currently, jaguars live in Mexico, Central America and South America (as far south as Paraguay and northern Argentina). Wandering jaguars have occasionally been known to visit the United States but, other than that, the cats haven’t made the U.S. their home since the early 1970s. They prefer to live in dense rainforests, but can also survive in a variety of forested and open terrain. They usually live near bodies of water – like the tiger, jaguars are cats that actually enjoy swimming!


Social Studies

Apart from mothers and their cubs, jaguars are solitary creatures who live alone rather than in packs and carve out large territories for themselves, which other cats of the same gender are generally not welcome within. Like other big cats, jaguars can roar – the sound they produce resembles a repetitive cough. Other typical jaguar sounds include mews and grunts.


Conservation Status

Unfortunately, the world’s jaguar population is declining. The cat is considered Near Threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, meaning it may be threatened in the near future. Major risks to the welfare of the jaguar include deforestation, increasing competition for food with human beings, poaching, hurricanes and ranchers who kills the cat when it preys on their livestock.


Related stories:
>
>

readers voted!

Comments

cupcake645

cupcake645 wrote:

this helped me with my homewok.
commented: Tue Oct 30, 2012

bungalow18

bungalow18 wrote:

Girl died in 1993. The murderer chanted " toma sota baicu" as she was being murdered. N...
commented: Wed May 30, 2012

amina1297

amina1297 wrote:

thanks
commented: Thu Feb 09, 2012

there are 3 more comments

Please login or register to add comments

share with your friends


Twitter Facebook Myspace Digg


like this article?
Sign up now to get more just like!

latest videos

F1164736145687

How Fast Can a Cheetah Run?

  • Up to 70 mph.
  • Up to 30 mph.
  • Up to 100 mph.
  • Up to 50 mph.

related stories

Cougars are also known as pumas, mountain lions and panthers. And no, they’re not pink!
Cheetos made the cheetah famous. Find out more about this fast feline!
Lions and tigers and bears… well, just lions for now!

Random in the forums

MoonlightEyes
MoonlightEyes posted in General:
Pink :)
reply 20 minutes
Triya
Triya posted in General:
blue  :D
reply about 2 hours
XxneonhipsterxX
YOU CANT FIGHT THE HOMESTUCK
reply about 2 hours
Team Audi #46
Team Audi #46 posted in General:
iPod 5th Gen Colors: Silver, Black, Pink, Light Blue, Yellow, Red (No Green) I would go with light blue or black. I would just go with personal preference though. You are the person that is getting it. You're going to be the one owning it. I personally have a Galaxy S3 with a purple and light pink case. So obviously I don't I like to be flamboyant with my colors. Once again though, this is going to be your iPod, not ours. 
reply about 2 hours
brunostar
brunostar posted in General:
"OklahomaRules" wrote:GREEN! lol, sorry it's my favorite color.  ;) i don't think there is a green one
reply about 2 hours

play online games

Candy-100

A great online version of the famous Candy Crush. This is the best game launched...

1515_gl_kidzworld_100x100_jpg_fz

Intriguing planets, weird and wonderful characters; challenge friends and find a...

157262_(2)

When you go back to Candyland, you’ll wonder why you ever left in the first plac...

100x100_ra_logo_girl

Uncle George has left you his farm, but unfortunately it’s in pretty bad shape. ...

_thumb_100x100

Shoot blobs with different properies to merge yellow blobs. Your blobs can be re...