A jaguar’s jaw is larger and more powerful than a leopard’s.
The size of a jaguar’s territory depends on food availability. Where food is plentiful, such as a forest, a jaguar can survive in a circular area of about there miles in diameter. When food is scarce, it may need to roam over an area of 200 square miles.
One jaguar tagged by a biologist was next seen 500 miles away in a new hunting location.
Although jaguars have the reputation as man-eaters, there are numerous stories about men being followed for miles through the forest by solitary jaguars, giving credence to the theory that jaguars prefer to escort men off their territory rather than attack them.
Amazonian Indians tell of jaguars emerging from the forest to play with village children.
The jaguar is the only big cat that does not roar.
As jaguars grow scarce, their chief food staple, the capybaras (a meter-long rodent that is the world's largest) multiplies and takes over farmers' fields. The result is the spread of trichomoniasis, a livestock disease that makes cows sterile.
People and jaguars have fought over territory since settlers, traders and ranchers moved into sparsely populated lands in the 18th-century. By the 1960s, worldwide trade in jaguar pelts reached $30 million a year as hunters in the Amazon killed 15,000 jaguars a year.
The name jaguar comes from from the Indian word yaguar, which means “he who kills with one leap.”
Jaguars are solitary and nocturnal.
Jaguars have no non-human predators (except possibly the anaconda).
Jaguars are ecological generalists, meaning they can survive and are found in many different types of ecosystems.
Jaguars are known to eat over 85 different animal species, including tapirs, porcupines, birds, fish, lizards, turtles, armadillos, and monkeys. They’ve also been seen to eat an occasional avocado.