Jaguar Revisited

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Stealth Predator


The jaguar, often incorrectly called a panther (a panther is a leopard), is a massive and powerfully built cat, with a deep-chested body and a large head. Its coat is yellowish-brown with dark brown spots in center-spotted rosettes. Some individuls are very dark brown, almost black, effectively masking their spots.

The jaguar may be found near water in savannahs and forests in all parts of North and South America south of the United States. The last native jaguar in the U.S. died the early 1960's. It hunts by twilight, from the ground, and seeks peccary, capybara, coypu, otter and fish. It is an excellent swimmer.


Special anatomical, physiological
or behavioral adaptations:


Jaguars have jaws and a large head especially equipped for piecing the skull of their prey with their canines. They are the only big cats which practice this habit. Unlike other large cats, who attack at the neck, jaguars often kill their prey with a single bite to the back of the head. They are called "occipital crunchers."

They are primarily nocturnal with activity levels high at dawn and dusk. Jaguars are exceptional swimmers to accommodate their living style. Because they may live in rain forests and flooded swamp areas this adaptation comes in handy when trying to cool off or catch food. Jaguars are the only "roaring" cat which also makes them unique from other large cats.

From Monsterquest

Facing Extinction

Once the Mexican Jaguar ranged into the southwestern United States. Hunted by ranchers and discouraged by increased human activity in the U.S., the Jaguar now faces extinction in Mexico. And, unfortunately for it's return to the southwestern United States, the floodlighting of the U.S.-Mexican border by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service discourages the movements of these nocturnal animals.
In 1996, however, a Jaguar was sited in southeastern Arizona by rancher Warner Glenn while hunting with his dogs. The excitement of that encounter is captured visually and verbally in his book "Eyes Of Fire". And there is an unconfirmed report of a live birth of a Jaguar in southern Arizona!





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