Laurel Neme

***Laurel Neme animal header

Jaguars

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 three miles in diameter.  When food is scarce, it may need to roam over an area of 200 square miles.

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.

One jaguar tagged by a biologist was next seen 500 miles away in a new hunting location.

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.

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.

The name jaguar comes from from the Indian word yaguar, which means “he who kills with one leap.”

Amazonian Indians tell of jaguars emerging from the forest to play with village children.

Jaguars are solitary and crepuscular (peak activity around dawn and dusk).

The jaguar’s roar sounds like a deep, chesty cough. Yet more often they can be heard to grunt, snarl, growl and even mew.

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.

The scientific name for jaguar, Panthera onca, means “hunter” and “hook” or “barb.” This refers to their stealth and their formidable claws.

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.

The jaguar is the largest and most powerful feline in the Americas. It’s the third largest living feline species, after the tiger and lion.

The jaguar has short muscular limbs that make it perfectly adapted to climbing, swimming, crawling and capturing prey.

The jaguar is the third-largest feline after the tiger and the lion.