Jaguars are the only big cats in the Americas and even the third biggest in the world! They look a lot like leopards, but jaguar’s spots are more complex and often have a dot in the center. Can you believe these amazing cats have been worhispped as gods in many ancient South American cultures?
What do jaguars eat?
Unlike many cats, jaguars are, like leopards, great swimmers. They hunt fish, turtles, and even caimans, using their incredibly powerful jaws to pierce the animal’s skulls. At the land, on the other hand, they will chase after deer, peccaries, capybaras, tapirs, and a number of other land animals, which they prefer to ambush at night. These beautiful cats live on their own, and they are very territorial.
How big are they?
Jaguars are very muscular animals. They weigh between 123-212 pounds, although there been spotted extremely large males going to amazing 348 pounds! Females are approximately 10-20 percent smaller than males. The length, from the nose to the base of the tail, varies from 1.12 to 1.85 m. Their legs are shorter, but very muscular, so that makes our beautiful fella stands from 63-76 cm. All of these features makes our jaguars very agile since they are great at climbing, crawling, and swimming.
Where do jaguars live?
Well, they are spread from Mexico through Central America to South America, including Amazonian Brazil. These cats live in rain and cloud forests, open, seasonally flooded wetlands, and dry grassland terrain. You can even find them at the elevations up to 3,800 metres!
Is it a jaguar, or a leopard?
Many of us can get confused by finding the difference between these two incredible cats. The answer lies in the center of the jaguars rosettes, because unlike the leopard, the jaguar has spots inside of its rosettes! The jag is also a much stockier animal than its cousin, with shorter legs and tail-giving it more of a pit bull type appearance.
Mother can have cubs during the whole year, when it happens, she can give birth to 2-4 cubs. They are highly protective and care about their young until are one year old, and stay together to the second year of their life. They will reach sexual maturity between 2-3 years for females, and 3-4 for males.
The name jaguar comes from the Native American word yaguar, which means “he who kills with one leap”. Pretty considerable description for such a wonderful cat, don’t you think?
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