The jaguar is the third largest, but least well known of the big
cats, and is often confused with the leopard
by some people, but the two animals differ
in both stature and markings, with the jaguar being a much more powerful beast.
One illustration of this is recorded by Desmond Morris in his book: "Cat
World" where a freshly killed, fully grown horse was observed being
dragged by a jaguar for a distance of approximately one mile, and part of this
journey included crossing a river!
This big cat is so
powerful that it has a different killing technique than the other large felines,
who usually knock their prey to the ground, then applying a bite to the throat
until it suffocates. The jaguar simply bites straight through the skull of its
victim, driving its very large fangs deep into the brain. Although the jaguar is
a good climber most hunting is done nocturnally at ground level, using stalking
and ambush techniques. Its prey varies a great deal, and includes turtles, large
birds and fish, as jaguars spend a lot of their time in and around rivers and
This big cat is both, solitary and
territorial, with the males having twice as much territory than that of the
female. The breeding season differs from region to region, and cub litters will
normally be of one to four in number. Litters are weaned at between five and six
months, with the young animals reaching maturity at three years or age.
the leopard, jaguars are often found to have completely black coats, and in some
areas outnumber the spotted ones. These, like all other beautiful cats, both big
and small, wild and domestic, have one common enemy...Mankind! Deforestation,
fur-trapping, and persecution as a result of its attacks on domestic animals
have been responsible for this beautiful creatures decline in population. The
jaguar can be found today from Mexico south to Argentina.
The Size of a Jaguar: Head + Body: 110 - 185cm (43 ½ - 73
in). Tail: 45 - 75cm (18 - 29 ½ in).
The Weight of a Jaguar: up to 138 kg (304 lb).
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