101 Facts About Jaguars


Jaguar
  • 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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Jaguar
  • 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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jaguar
  •  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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Jaguar
  • 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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Jaguar
  • 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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Bryan Harding

Bryan has spent his whole life around animals. While loving all animals, Bryan is especially fond of mammals and has studied and worked with them around the world. Not only does Bryan share his knowledge and experience with our readers, but he also serves as owner, editor, and publisher of North American Mammals.

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