The jaguar, Panthera onca, and third largest member of the Panthera family, is often confused with the leopard (Panthera pardus). But jaguars have larger and darker rosettes (spots), a rounder head, larger jaw, and shorter and stockier limbs. The Panthera onca are not very large animals. They usually grow to four feet in length and weigh only 100-250 pounds. Most jaguars are tan and spotted with black and/or brown spots, but some have completely black coats.
Panthera onca is composed of eight endangered subspecies.
Does not have any predators except for human poachers, who hunt them for their fur. Jaguars are not contested for food or territory in the wild but a loss of habitat caused by human activity in their habitats is a threat.
Jaguars make their homes in jungles and forested habitats, which provide cover for hunting, in the southwestern U.S., South America, Central America, Africa, and Asia. They can also live in open grasslands as long as their is still cover and an abundant amount of water.
The killing method of jaguars is very different from other big cats. Instead of killing their prey by injuring the neck, jaguars sneak up on their prey and kill it by biting directly into its brain through the head. Jaguars hunt large sized prey such as deer and peccaries. Amazon Rain Forest jaguars, who like to swim, eat fish, frogs, and turtles also.
Jaguars are solitary animals and do not travel in packs. Once a male mates with a female, the male leaves and gives sole responsibility for his young to the mother.
Most jaguars reach sexual maturity at the age of three. Jaguar cubs, who are born in litters of one to four, remain with their mother for around three years, then live on their own. In captivity, jaguars can live up to 20 years, but in the wild, usually only live for around 11 years.
Did you know: Jaguars are good swimmers and tree climbers?
a sleepy jaguar .Source
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