The jaguar is the Americas largest cat. It has a compact body, a wide head and powerful jaws. The coat is usually yellow and tan, but colors can range from black to reddish brown. The spots on its coat are more defined and black on its head and neck, becoming larger rosette-shaped patterns on the sides and back.
Crepuscular animals are those that are active primarily during twilight (that is, the periods of dawn and dusk). This is distinguished from diurnal...
A carnivore meaning 'meat eater' is an organism that derives its energy and nutrient requirements from a diet consisting mainly or exclusively of a...
Seed predation, often referred to as granivory, is a type of plant-animal interaction in which granivores (seed predators) feed on the seeds of pla...
Terrestrial animals are animals that live predominantly or entirely on land (e.g., cats, ants, snails), as compared with aquatic animals, which liv...
Altricial animals are those species whose newly hatched or born young are relatively immobile. They lack hair or down, are not able to obtain food ...
A territory is a sociographical area that which an animal consistently defends against the conspecific competition (or, occasionally, against anima...
Among animals, viviparity is the development of the embryo inside the body of the parent. The term 'viviparity' and its adjective form 'viviparous'...
Arboreal locomotion is the locomotion of animals in trees. In habitats in which trees are present, animals have evolved to move in them. Some anima...
Ambush predators are carnivorous animals that capture or trap prey by stealth, luring, or by (typically instinctive) strategies utilizing an elemen...
An apex predator, also known as a top predator, is a predator at the top of a food chain and has no natural predators. These animals usually occup...
Polygyny is a mating system in which one male lives and mates with multiple females but each female only mates with a single male.
NoNot a migrant
Animals that do not make seasonal movements and stay in their native home ranges all year round are called not migrants or residents.
Jaguars are widely distributed, inhabiting New Mexico and southern Arizona south toward northeastern Brazil and northern Argentina. Populations have been drastically reduced or in some areas and even eliminated, including the United States, El Salvador, and large parts of Mexico. Jaguars like thick, moist tropical lowland forests with plenty of cover, but can be found in reed thickets, scrubland, coastal forests, thickets and swamps. They are superb swimmers and are usually found living near water: rivers, slow moving streams, watercourses, lagoons, and swamps.
The jaguar is a solitary creature aside from during the first couple of years, spent with their mother. Jaguar males are very territorial, with their home range overlapping that of several females, but being prepared to defend it fiercely from other males. They are dependent on water, particularly during the dry season, seeking relief from the heat. They are very good swimmers and are very fast when moving through the water, especially when pursuing their prey. Near dusk and dawn jaguars are most active, tending to rest during the mid-morning and afternoon. When resting they lie under thick vegetation in deep shade or under large rocks or in caves.
The jaguar's diet mostly consists of medium sized mammals, such as deer, capybara, tapirs and peccaries, which they silently stalk through the thick jungle. In water, jaguars hunt fish, turtles, and even small caiman. The jaguar is an aggressive and formidable hunter and is believed to eat over 80 different animal species.
Jaguars are polygamous. Mating usually increases during December through March. Females are sexually mature between 12 and 24 months, males at 24 to 36 months. Throughout the mating season, females will call loudly to attract males into their territory. Females generally give birth to between 2 to 3 cubs, following a 91 -111-day gestation period. Once the cubs are born, females will not tolerate a male in her territory, being very protective of the cubs. Cubs are weaned at 5 to 6 months old, when they start to hunt alongside their mother. Young are dependent until almost 2 years of age.
Once living throughout South America, jaguars have been hunted mainly for their fur, teeth and paws. Despite legal protection fewer people hunting them for their fur, jaguars are now at risk due to loss of habitat mainly because of deforestation, so they are being pushed into the more remote parts of their native range.
According to the World Wildlife Fund, jaguars number only 15,000 in the wild. The IUCN Red List classifies them as Near Threatened (NT) with decreasing population trend.
Jaguars are top predators and a keystone species due to their impact on populations of other animals who share the same ecosystem.