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101 Facts About Jaguars

  • Jaguars are the biggest cats in the Americas
  • They are the third-largest cats in the world
  • Jaguars are the only members of the genus Panthera to live in North and South America
  • Their scientific name is Panthera onca
  • Jaguars can be found in North, Central and South America
jaguar has a rest against falls
  • The northern range of the Jaguars is Mexico 
  • Jaguars are almost extinct in the northern part of its original range, surviving only in reduced numbers in remote areas of Central and South America.
  • Jaguars are larger and heavier than leopards
  • The male jaguar is normally larger than the female
  • Jaguars are powerful animals with heavy bodies, muscular limbs, and a large head with powerful jaws
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Jaguar swimming in Black River
  • They are yellowish-brown with black ringed spots along the back and sides, and solid black spots on the legs, head and tail
  • One of the unique features of the jaguar is the shape of their spots
  • The spots of a jaguar resemble the shape of a rose. The spots are known as rosettes
  • The rosettes on the head, legs, and underside are solid black
  •  Their lower portions of a jaguars body is white
  • A jaguar’s rosettes are larger than those of a leopard’s
Close shot of a staring male jaguar
  •  Each jaguar’ jaguar’s coat has unique patterns, meaning that a jaguar can be individually identified by their markings
  • Jaguars can be identified by their yellow or orange coat, dark spots and short legs
  • Jaguars live in forests, grasslands, savanna, scrubland, and lowland forests that are close to rivers, streams and swamps
  • Jaguars are classed as carnivore’s, eating only meat
  • Jaguars are solitary animals
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  • Jaguars are considered an apex predator, with no natural predators in the wild
  • Jaguars are known to be loud, with their growl sounding like a deep cough.
  • Jaguars can stay alive in many different environments
  • Jaguars are normally found near water, preferring marsh or tropical rainforests 
  • Females are 10 to 20% smaller than males
  • Jaguars are varied in size according to their geographical distribution. Jaguars in the north are typically larger than those in the south
Two jaguar lie next to each other
  • A jaguar’s ideal method of killing large prey is to pierce the skull with its canine teeth.
  • Smaller prey can generally be killed with one swipe of a jaguars paw
  • The diet of a jaguar mostly consists of deer, tapirs, peccaries, sloth, monkeys, fish, reptiles and domestic livestock.
  • Jaguars are known to eat 80 different types of animals
  • Although jaguars eat meat, they have also been known to eat avocados
  • The jaguar is deadly when cornered, but does not normally attack humans
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Portrait of jaguar
  • The name of the jaguar is derived from the Native American word jaguars, which means “he who kills with one leap”
  • Jaguars sometimes climb trees to spring a trap, killing their prey with one powerful bite 
  • Jaguars live alone, defining their territories of many square miles by marking their territory with urine or clawing trees
  • Jaguars dip their tails into the water to attract fish, much like a fishing line.
  • Jaguars are solitary animals, only spending time with others of their kind when they are mating, or taking care of cubs
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  •  Jaguars take advantage of their strong jaws and sharp teeth during a hunt to easily catch prey
  • Jaguars catch their prey by the head and chomp down to make the kill
  • The jaws of a jaguar are stronger than any other species of cat
  • The pressure of a jaguar’s jaws can bite through bones
  • Jaguars are nocturnal, hunting at night
  • Jaguars do not like to share their food
Photo of a Jaguar sitting.
  • Jaguars are extremely fast and can run up to 80 km per hour
  •  Both male and females howl when they want to mate 
  • Their mating season runs throughout the whole year
  •  The duration of pregnancy is around 93 to 105 days 
  • After mating, the female will carry her young for around 100 days, giving birth to 2 to 5 young 
  • Baby jaguars are called cubs
  • Cubs are born with their eyelids sealed shut. The cubs are able to see for the first time after two weeks
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Jaguar walking through jungle
  • Jaguar cubs are born deaf and blind, slowly gaining sight and hearing over the first few weeks of life
  •  The cubs, at the age of three months, are weaned from milk to meat
  • Cubs will generally stay in the den for the first three months
  • After six months, the cubs’ mother will teach them how to hunt.
  • After two years, the cubs will leave their mother to live and hunt on their own
  • The father will teach the cubs to defend themselves, and how to find their own food and shelter
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Frontal Portrait of Jaguar Pair
  • Jaguars typically live around 12 to 14 years in the wild
  •  Jaguars are very good swimmers. Unlike most cats, they are not afraid or intimidated by water
  • Adult jaguars weigh between 45 and 113 kilograms.
  • A jaguar can be up to 240cm long from the tip of his nose to the tip of his tail
  • Jaguars have large eyes, in balance with the head size
  •  Jaguars usually have eyes of golden or reddish yellow
Close up portrait of Jaguar
  • Jaguars cubs have blue eyes when they are born
  • Jaguars, although nocturnal, are also active during the daytime.
  • Male jaguars reach sexual maturity at the age of 3 to 4 years while female jaguars reach sexual maturity when they are 2 to 3 years old
  • Jaguars have adapted to prey on animals such as turtles, tortoises, and armadillos.
  •  Adult males can reach an overall length of more than 7 feet and can weigh between from 175 to 200 pounds
  • Jaguars are skilled climbers and will scale trees with ease
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  • Jaguars are important in human culture, often playing a central role in stories and songs 
  •  Jaguars has a variety of vocalizations, including roars, grunts, snarls, growls, and a deep, hoarse cough
  • Jaguars like their homes to have very soft ground
  • Jaguars have a tail length between 45-75 cms (18-30 inches)
  •  Jaguars have a shoulder height of between 55-76 cms (21.5-30 inches)
  • Jaguars are compact but very muscular
  •  Jaguars have short, stocky limbs which help them to climb, swim, crouch and pounce
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  • They prefer to hunt their prey rather than chasing. They use a trap technique, jumping from cover onto its prey. 
  • When jaguars meet each other, they make a noise like a nasally snuffling
  • Jaguars hunt both in the day and at night and usually travel up to 10 to 12 km a night when hunting  
  • Jaguar’s tongues have sharp-pointed bumps, called papillae, which they use to scrape the meat off bones 
  • A jaguar can sleep in trees 
  • In some traditions, the Jaguar God of the Night was the frightening lord of the underworld.
  • Jaguars have the ability to see up to six times better than humans at night, due to a layer of tissue in the back of the eye that reflects light.
Close up portrait of Jaguar
  • Jaguars can run quickly, but they do not have much stamina and will not engage in long chases
  • Jaguar tracks are round, with both the pad and the four toes that touch the ground
  • The jaguar‘s back limbs are longer than its front limbs to help them pounce and jump
  • Their front paws are equipped with long, retractile claws to help grab and hold its prey
  • They have loose belly skin which allows the animal to be kicked by its prey with little chance of injury
  • Humans are the main threat to the jaguar
  • Jaguars are hunted for sport, and for their spotted fur
  •  The jaguar is rare, because of hunting of their fur. Farmers also kill jaguars when they kill their cattle
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Jaguar dragging dead yacare caiman through undergrowth
  • During the 1960’s and 1970’s, around 18,000 jaguars were killed every year for their spotted fur
  • The jaguar is a beautiful and graceful animal
  •  The anaconda is the only natural enemy of jaguar
  •  Besides intentional killing, the number of jaguars is decreasing because of environmental damage and threats to their habitat
  • It is believed that Panthera evolved between six and ten million years ago
  • The largest male weighed up to 158 kg (348 lb)
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A close up photograph of a Jaguar on the hunt.
  • Jaguars also come in a black form and are known as black panthers
  • Jaguars can roar, warning competitors away
  • Jaguars will run away when they smell a human
  • Jaguars have long been believed to be a sign of strength and power
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