The beast that can kill with one jump - this is what they say about the jaguar, by the way, the name of the animal is also translated from the language of the American Indian. For the first time this beautiful cat was discovered on the American continent by the colonizers of the New World. And the Mayans and Aztecs idolized the animal, and in the places where the jaguar lives, evidence was found that the inhabitants of these places decorated themselves with its teeth.
Jaguar is related to the genus Panther and looks like a leopard, but much larger. On the head and body of the beast is thick fur, short. On top of the head are small black rounded ears with a yellow spot.
Maximum body weight - 150 kilograms, with height (height at withers) 80 centimeters. Where does the jaguar live? The largest individuals are found in the state of Mato Grosso (Brazil). Small live in Honduras and Guatemala.
The color of the animal is sandy, with red spots and a trim of a dark brown shade. Paws and muzzle covered with black specks. The soles and underparts are white.
The beast has a very massive jaw, much larger than that of other felines.
Where does the jaguar live? Such places can be described as sparsely populated. But today such places on the planet are less and less, respectively, and the wild cat population is rapidly declining.
Where does a jaguar live - in North or South America? Once upon a time it was possible to meet an animal in all of South America and even in the south of North America. Today, the cat lives in South and Central America up to the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso. Also found in northern Argentina. In fact, this is only a third of the territories where the animal previously lived. In El Salvador and Uruguay, wild cats in general are completely destroyed.
Jaguar prefers rainforests, but is also found on the coast, where it feeds on sea turtles and their eggs. The animal is found in mountainous areas and can live at an altitude of up to 2 thousand meters above sea level.
The animal leads a solitary lifestyle. The area where the jaguar lives, can reach 100 square kilometers. A wild cat may hunt along with its relatives, but will not allow other members of the cat family to enter its territory. Couples are beasts only for mating season.
In nature, there are black jaguars, which are often confused with panthers. Black color is due to melanism, and in this case such individuals are not a separate species.
There are several types of jaguars and are classified mainly by habitat:
- Peruvian, often regarded as an Amazonian species, lives not only in Peru, but also in Ecuador,
- Central American (Central America),
- Arizona, lives in southern Arizona and before the territories of Sonora in Mexico,
- Mexican (Mexico),
- Brazilian, found in southern Brazil,
- Paraguayan, often regarded as a Brazilian subspecies and lives in the territory of Paraguay,
- Texas, previously lived in the central part of the state of Texas, is now considered completely destroyed species,
- Amazonian, nominative subspecies, prefers rain forests of Amazonia,
- Goldman's jaguar, this species lives in Guatemala, Mexico and Belize.
On which mainland where the jaguar lives? Wildcat lives in South America and is listed in the Red Book. Partial shooting is allowed in Mexico and Brazil.
Amazing swimmer who can not growl
The animal is an excellent swimmer. Overcome in one swim can more than 10 kilometers. An animal can use logs to make swimming easier. By the way, the cat can hunt even in the water.
Wildcat jaguar does not know how to growl. Before the attack, she makes a hissing and snorting sounds. It is believed that the animal is able to imitate voices, in particular the sounds that a monkey's cub makes. The jaguar does this in order to attract the monkeys and attack them.
The largest individual that humans have ever seen is a 158-pound jaguar. Although often the weight of the animal does not exceed 130 kilograms.
Jaguar and lion can interbreed in the wild. However, in such a union born sterile offspring.
Each animal has its own individual color, which is never repeated.
Where does the jaguar live? The continent is South and Central America, the countries of the New World, in other parts of the world the animal is not found.
The beast can attack even a crocodile, although only young animals, adults for a jaguar are too serious rivals. A cat can attack any animal, from rodents to deer, while instantly having a bite to the victim's throat. There have been cases when the cat attacked the anaconda, and this is the largest snake on the planet. The beast hunts at night, and sleeps during the day. Attacks his victim from ambush. A person can be attacked only if he defends against him.
Fossil remains of an animal give the right to say that the jaguar is the oldest inhabitant of the planet. On Earth, the beast has been living for at least 2 million years.
In the Mayan tribes only the most courageous warriors were allowed to wear animal skins.
Despite the large size, no more than half of the young live up to two years old.
In jaguars, the female chooses a suitable partner for herself.
Jaguars have a very muscular and powerful body. They have a big head, short legs, thick short hair with a specific color (from bright red to sand color). On the skin of the animal there are black spots that have a variety of forms, and the stomach and throat are white. The jaguar is similar in color to a leopard, but the jaguar is much larger in size. Jaguar body length up to 185 cm (without tail). The length of the tail in jaguars is from 50 to 75 cm. The weight of a male is approximately 90-120 kg, and the females from 60 to 80 kg. A particularly large jaguar was caught weighing 158 kg.
Where does the jaguar live?
Jaguar lives in South and Central America. In Uruguay and El Salvador, the animals were almost completely destroyed because of the hunt for them. The jaguar lives in the humid tropical jungle, in marshy areas. They are good swimmers and therefore live near ponds, rivers and even marshes, in arid areas, as a rule, they are not found. And in the southwestern United States and northern Mexico, jaguars live in oak forests.
What does a jaguar eat?
The jaguar is a twilight predator. The animal jaguar hunts after sunset and just before dawn. Jaguar prey is ungulates, such as deer, tapirs, mazams. The jaguar also hunts monkeys, birds, snakes, various rodents, foxes. The predator is an excellent swimmer, so fish can also be its prey. On the shore, the jaguar digs up turtle eggs, and it can eat the turtle itself. Their powerful jaws can crack even the tortoise shell. It often attacks livestock. The main method of hunting jaguars - is an ambush in the trees or in the grass.
The jaguar is a lone predator. Their hunting zones can range from 25 to 100 km. All day the jaguar rests somewhere in a cool cave or in the shade of a tree. The predator hunts after sunset and before sunrise. The animal jaguar is quite peaceful towards its relatives, if their hunting grounds intersect and are very intolerant to other feline species (especially pumas).
The jaguar does not have a breeding season per se, the female is ready for mating for the third year of life. During the mating period, predators can stray into small groups. The female chooses a partner independently and for the entire mating period she is in the male’s territory.
After that, she leaves and already 100 days after conception in her lair, which is located in a dense bush or hollow, young ones appear (from 2 to 4 babies). For six weeks, the young jaguars spend in the den with their mother, then they learn to hunt with her and remain with her until they find a suitable place for hunting.
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The spotted panther wildcat is America's largest predator. The height of the largest representatives of the species at the withers is 68-80 cm, an average of 75 cm. Jaguars have a flexible graceful body about 120-180 cm long, and their tail can be short - 45-50 cm or reach 70-90 cm. Depending on the size, animals weigh from 68 to 136 kg. Like almost all mammals, females are about 1/5 smaller and lighter than males.
It is interesting! Record weight recorded in the male jaguar was 158 kg.
Jaguars living in open spaces are usually larger than their counterparts living in dense forests. Perhaps this is due to the large herds of ungulates living in the steppe zones, and as a result - more successful hunting of predators.
Lifestyle and behavior
Like all cats, jaguars choose and "hold" their territory. They do it alone. One beast can "belong" to a space of 25 to 100 square kilometers, with males usually twice as large as that of females. Males choose their own triangular areas, every 2-3 days, replacing the "angle" in which they hunt.
About once a decade, the jaguar bypasses his possessions on the border. Vigilantly guarding the territory from other representatives of the cat - cougars, ocelots, etc., the jaguar does not object to crossing borders with another representative of its kind.
Jaguar time - twilight. Before sunset and in the pre-dawn hours, he is particularly active in hunting. Predator arranges an ambush in the tall grass, on the branches of a tree, hiding on the shore near the watering hole. At the unsuspecting victim, he rushes from the back or from the side, grasping his neck tightly, trying to immediately strangle or pierce the skull with his fangs. The last feature is the habituation of an exclusively jaguar, other cats rarely bite through the head.
It is interesting! If cattle are prey, the jaguar tends to smash him to the ground in order to hit his head and injure before killing. Often they don’t even need to use their fangs - the victim just breaks his neck.
If a potential prey has sensitive ears and has heard the beast before it rushes, it is lucky - it has a chance to escape, the jaguar rarely chases. But in the water the jaguar, perfectly swimming and loving this element, will easily catch up with its victim. Cases of jaguars attacking crocodiles, catching fish, hunting turtles are known. Jaguar rarely attacks a man, and never does so unless he is given an aggressive reason. All the clashes of people with jaguars are the self-defense of the latter. They do not eat human meat. However, a curious young animal can pursue a person out of curiosity.
The northern boundary of the habitat of the jaguars runs through the Mexican steppes and southwestern states of the United States. Animals are settled down to the northern borders of Argentina and Paraguay, as well as the coast of Venezuela. The largest individuals of jaguars live in the state of Brazil, Mato Grosso. The largest populations of jaguars are concentrated in the valley of the Amazon.
For life, a jaguar needs several components:
- water source nearby habitat
- thick greens to disguise while hunting,
- Potential production in sufficient quantities.
Nature has provided them with such resources in tropical rain forests, coastal reed beds, river valleys, and near swamps. In arid areas, jaguars are practically absent. But they can climb into the mountains, but not higher than 2700 m (residents of the Andes). Jaguars were once met in Costa Rica at an altitude of 3800 m, but this was an isolated incident, usually they are not attracted to mountain forests.
Jaguar - predator, strictly carnivorous creature. He hunts for various prey, about 85 species of various animals fell into his teeth, according to the researchers. He is capable of a victim that weighs up to 300 kg. The most desirable sacrifice for the jaguar is large “meat” animals - ungulates, pigs, including livestock.
The jaguar does not shun monkey, bird, fox, porcupine, small rodents and even reptiles. Alive near the water, this big cat catches fish with pleasure.
A special delicacy for the jaguar is the turtle: powerful jaws easily gnaw a durable shell. Jaguar loves to feast on turtle eggs, pulling sand from the clutch. The noble beast almost never eats carrion. He begins to eat the freshly killed victim from his head, moving to the ham. If lucky enough to kill a large animal, the jaguar will not move away from it for several days in a row.
The most important and dangerous enemy for a jaguar is a man who is hunting him because of his beautiful fur. In nature, this king of the jungle has virtually no competitors and threats: in its habitat, it is the highest in the food chain.
Important! For territory can fight with large cougars, usually dominating them, but sometimes receiving serious injuries.
During a hunt, jaguars sometimes encounter serious and dangerous opponents — caimans, although they even pull 2-meter monsters out of their native element. Hunting large reptiles, they can occasionally become victims of an anaconda or a boa.
Reproduction and offspring
Jaguars have no specific mating season. A female ready for mating (at the age of 3 years) “informs” the males of this, urinating trees, and also emiting characteristic “vocalises” to which the males respond with hoarse guttural cries.
It is interesting! Some jaguar hunters lured them, imitating the female's mating call. Jaguars, usually singles, only in this case can be combined into groups.
But the males do not fight among themselves, the choice is made exclusively by the bride and temporarily moves to the site of his chosen one.
After mating, they part. The female makes himself a lair among the thickets, in a hidden hollow or cave, where after 100 days of pregnancy 2-4 kittens give birth. Small jaguars are not yet as spotty as their parents; thick black spots predominate in their fur. Mother does not let them out of the den in the first 1.5 months of their lives.
However, they suck mother's milk for about 5-6 months. Mother begins to take them with her to hunt until the moment when they grow up and will be able to occupy an independent territory, usually about 2 years. Only about half of the born babies live to maturity. The jaguar can produce offspring by crossing with a panther or a leopard.
Population and species status
The man badly damaged the jaguar population, hunting them to protect their herds and for the sake of beautiful fur. Previously, they were met in Uruguay and in El Salvador, now they are exterminated there. Due to increased hunting activity, the habitat of the jaguars was reduced by 2/3 from the original. Even without hunting, a person cuts down habitable places for these predators.
Today, hunting for jaguars is prohibited, but, unfortunately, poaching is continuing. This species is listed in the IUCN International Red Book as being threatened with destruction. However, Brazil, Mexico and Bolivia are allowed to hunt them with certain restrictions.
How to find out?
The jaguar is the largest ground predator of the New World. Body length without tail reaches 180 cm, and weight - 100-120 kg. It has a massive but graceful physique, large head and strong limbs. Pale-red skin is covered with dark spots, which are often contours with smaller spots inside on a light background. There are up to nine subspecies, but the debate about classification does not subside. A number of scientists propose to give them the status not of subspecies, but of populations. Quite often you can meet melanist jaguars, dark-colored individuals, on the skin of which you can still see the characteristic spotted color.
Lifestyle and Biology
The jaguar is a solitary predator. Both male and female have an individual plot of 25–100 km2. The animals mark its boundaries with urine and claw marks on the trees. After 5–15 days, the beast returns to the same places, checking that its ownership is in order. Hunts at dusk, immediately after sunset or before dawn. At its core, it is an ambush predator, stalking a victim in thick grass or sitting in a tree. The jaguar is an excellent swimmer, so hunting in the water is no difficulty for him. He can fish or even attack a crocodile sleeping in a river. Capybaras, tapirs and bakers are one of his possible victims. He is always ready to attack any available prey, be it a beast or a bird. Often breaks the laying of turtle eggs and can cope with an adult turtle. Sexual maturity in the jaguar comes in the third year of life. The breeding period is not confined to a specific time of year. Males do not arrange fights - the choice of a partner depends on the female. When it is determined with the father of the future offspring, it moves to its territory.
Pregnancy lasts about 100 days, two or four cubs are born, which are similar in color to adults, only darker. About six weeks, babies spend with their mother in a den, and then go on a journey across the American expanses. The main enemy, but rather a competitor, the jaguar is the cougar. The average life expectancy of a jaguar is 20-25 years.
Jaguar is listed in the Red Book
Over the past decades, the initial range of the jaguar has decreased by 8.75 million km2. Today it is 46% of the original. The species disappeared from many habitual habitats and was preserved mainly in the Amazon basin. Последний ягуар на юге США был убит приблизительно в 1900 г. Некогда обычный и даже широко распространенный вид пострадал из-за преследования человеком и утраты естественной среды. К сожалению, браконьерская охота на него полностью не остановлена, несмотря на большое число природоохранных документов и штрафных санкций.In addition, some jaguars die at the hands of farmers, for whom these animals prove to be serious pests, as they attack cattle. Commercial hunting for jaguars for the purpose of extracting hides, as well as capturing animals for sale in private collections, have been virtually stopped since the 1970s.
However, the aborigines continue to kill jaguars for the sake of obtaining valuable trophies. In all countries where this species of the cat family lives, conservation measures are being taken to preserve it. Since the 1990s. the number of the jaguar began to recover. In 2002, he was transferred from the VU category to the NT category.
It is interesting
Jaguar occupied an important place in many ethnic cultures of America, in particular in the culture of the Aztecs and the Mayan tribe, where the animal was a special symbol of power and strength. The Mayans believed that the jaguar is a mediator between the world of the living and the world of the dead, as well as a special patron of the rulers and priests. Also according to Indian beliefs, the jaguar can imitate the cry of any bird or animal to lure them.
Peculiarities of the mysterious "big cat"
This charming-looking resident of the rainforest has magnificent vision and hearing, indispensable for hunting, as well as incredibly strong and sharp teeth. At night, the jaguar sees simply superb, and his sensitive mustache is the main tactile organ of the animal. It eats various animals, including tapirs, deer, sloths, turtles and others. Without a doubt, the jaguar is dangerous to humans.
Jaguar females choose the partner extremely meticulously, so the period of courtship for the male is never easy. During pregnancy, they manage to equip for their kittens a secluded shelter, designed to protect the young against various external threats, including from representatives of their own species. Kids soon switch to animal food, and then begin to participate in the process of its production with their mother.