jaguar (Panthera onca) is the feline The largest in America, it has a compact body, a broad head and powerful jaws. Their fur is normally yellow and tan, but the color can vary from reddish brown to black. The spots on the mantle are more solid and black on the head and neck and become larger in a rosette shape along the lateral and posterior part of the body.

As a high-level carnivore, it helps prevent overgrazing of vegetation by keeping its prey populations in balance. The jaguar is also important in human culture, as they frequently play a central role in the stories, songs, and prayers of indigenous peoples. However, today, they have been almost completely eliminated from the United States.

The jaguar is the third largest living feline species, after the tiger and the lion.

The jaguar is a carnivorous feline.
The jaguar is a carnivorous feline.

Features

The jaguar is the largest and most powerful wild cat in the Western Hemisphere. The jaguar is larger than the leopard. Their fur has different colors, but they are usually yellow-brown with black spots, like leopards. Some are even white. The jaguar's mantle on its side and back is spotted with large black rosettes, each of which consists of a circle of spots surrounding a central point. The spots on its head, legs, and underside are solid black.

The jaguar is a vertebrate animal where adult males can be 1,2 to 2 meters long, excluding their long tail. Its tail is 45 to 75 centimeters long. He is about 90 centimeters tall and weighs up to 136 kg as an adult.

The jaguar has very muscular forearms and shoulders that give it the strength to capture its prey. It has a massive head, and long, thick legs. The hind legs are longer than the front legs to improve jumping. Its front legs are equipped with long, retractable claws to help grasp and support its prey.

The tongue of these mammals is rough which is designed to peel the skin from the meat of its prey, and to peel the meat from the bones of its prey. The skin on its belly is elastic, allowing the animal to be kicked by its prey with little chance of injury.

Behavior

Its land animals and lonely. They live and hunt alone, except during the mating season. The range of the male is between 19 and 53 square miles and often overlaps with the smaller ranges of multiple females. A male aggressively protects his range and females within that range from other males.

The jaguar hunts during the day. It usually does so from the ground, but sometimes it climbs a tree and pounces on its prey from above. It has very powerful jaws and sharp teeth and usually kills its prey with a crushing bite to the skull. Unlike most big cats, the jaguar loves water, often swimming, bathing, playing, and even hunting fish in streams and pools. Like all members of the big cat family, jaguars can roar. The jaguar's roar sounds like a deep cough.

Habitat

Once this mammal it wandered from Argentina in South America to the Grand Canyon in Arizona. Today, they have been almost completely wiped out from the United States and are endangered throughout their entire range, which extends to Patagonia in South America. The jaguar lives in a wide variety of habitats, including deciduous forests, rainforests, swamps, pampas grasslands, and mountainous scrub.

They prefer humid lowland habitats, swampy savannas o the tropical jungles. Her favorite habitat is in the tropical and subtropical forests. The jaguar also lives in forests and grasslands, near rivers y lagos, in small caves, swamps and under rocky ledges; they also live in shrubby areas.

They like that their houses have very soft ground. They use materials like leaves, rotten trees and other soft materials that they can find in the forest or in the rainforest. Jaguars prefer to live alone and do not like other animals to approach their den, as it is a territorial area for the jaguar.

Food

Jaguars are carnivores what do they eat deer, peccaries, Crocodiles, snakes, monkeys, deer, lazy, tapires, turtles, eggs, frogs, fish and whatever else they can catch.

Predators

The jaguar being a dangerous animal, does not have natural predators. But if they are affected by human that have become the main threat of the jaguar. A jaguar rarely, if ever, attacks humans unless cornered. Humans hunt it for sport, for its mottled skin, and to protect its domestic livestock.

A jaguar cooling off.
A jaguar cooling off.

Reproduction

In the tropical part of their range, jaguars are viviparous animals that mate in any season of the year. In other areas, they mate in the latter part of the year. Males and females live together only during the mating and pregnancy season. After a gestational period of 95 to 110 days, the female gives birth to one to four cubs; they generally have 2 cubs. Newborns weigh between 0,7 and 0,9 kilograms. The females reach sexual maturity at the age of 3 years, the males at 4; both have a life expectancy of around 20 years.

The male jaguar will live with the female for a period of four years, while the baby or cubs grow up healthy and strong. The male will teach the cubs to defend themselves and to find their own food and shelter. The female will feed them their milk so that the cubs maintain their strength and energy. The young will also hunt with their mother for their first two years.

State of conservation

The jaguar is in danger of extinction because it is hunted for its fur, and farmers kill the jaguar to protect their livestock. Jaguars are said to be so destructive to livestock and horses that the largest Mexican ranches retain a "tiger hunter" to kill them or at least drive them away.

Poaching continues to be a problem, as there is a high demand for their coats. Today, poaching still exists, but not as common as before. During the 18.000s and XNUMXs, around XNUMX jaguars were killed each year for their beautiful coat. Previously highly prized skins such as leopard, cheetah, or jaguar skins can no longer be hunted in indigenous countries, and many other countries prohibit their importation. The Federal Endangered Species Act prohibits the import and sale of these skins in the United States.

At best, there are only about 15.000 jaguars left in the wild. Binational conservation efforts have been successful in protecting a small population of 80 to 120 felines in the remote mountains of Sonora, Mexico, on the border with Arizona. This population is the largest of the three known to remain in Sonora, and it is the last hope for recovery in the United States. In addition, in the United States and Canada, special laws protect certain North American species, and wildlife refuges have been established for the purpose of protecting the jaguar. The jaguar is a beautiful and elegant animal, it needs protection and conservation measures so that they do not become extinct.

Jaguar numbers have decreased in the last 100 years, mainly because humans have cut down and burned many of their homelands in Central and South America; New cities are being built and forests and grasslands are being cut down. The destruction of the habitat of the jaguar by logging and ranching, as well as the need to compete with humans for food, has caused a large number of deaths in its population.

One of the problems jaguars experience is when the grasses that help hide them are dying from smoke problems. More jaguars die as demand for their fur increases. In hunting, the jaguar is usually chased by dogs until it climbs a tree or until it is cornered on the ground; then he is shot. The Bororo Indians of Mato Grosso, Brazil, hunt them with spears. When a jaguar is cornered on the ground, the hunter rushes it and then catches it on his spear as it leaps towards it.

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