Facts About a Jaguar – Jaguar holds the throne of becoming one of the big cats in the world, along with the other four other living members of big cats. The other big cats, namely lion, tiger, leopard as well as snow leopard are also the member of Genus Panthera.
The little ones are the member of Genus Felis, making these 5 big cats different from any other housecats. Jaguar, being one of these majestic creatures ever exist, has several facts about their features, personality and traits that might surprise you. Here are 21 among many amazing facts about a Jaguar for you to enjoy.
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Interesting Facts About a Jaguar
1. The Name was Originated From Native American word
The name ‘Jaguar’ came from a Native American word, Yajuar, which means ‘the one that kills in one bite.’ The reason this name was chosen is because the mouth of Jaguar is equipped with strong and powerful jaws and supported with the sharp teeth, making it easy for them to immobilize any prey that they aim for at one.
To catch the other animals, what Jaguar would do is to jump to the animal they desire and catch them by the head. Then, the Jaguar would continue chomping down and killing the animal, obtaining the delicious foods in one leap.
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2. Black Jaguar Exists
There are special types of jaguar called black jaguar. Just like the name, the difference between this jaguar is the skin and fur color which contains a huge amount of dark pigment due to mutation. These facts about black panther are not only the matter of color as this gives them a huge advantage in the forest.
Jaguar likes to blend in with the trees when hunting as they follow the prey silently. With the black fur color, black jaguar has a great advantage as it is easy for them to blend with the shadow of the trees, especially at night.
3. Jaguar has Meat Based Diet
Along with the other big cats, jaguar is also a carnivore and consume meat in order to survive. The animals that they love to prey in the forest consist of deer, monkeys, birds, peccary, fish, alligators, fish as well as small rodents.
4. Jaguar is Not Afraid of Water
Cats are known to be afraid of water. House cats are famous for their lack of interest in taking a shower, making the pet owners need to force them into the water.
But, unlike most cats, jaguar actually likes to spend time in the water and is considered a very good swimmer as well. This is why they can also catch the prey in the water, such as fish.
The way they lure the fish to come to them is the same as what fisherman does. Jaguar uses their tails as a fishing line to make the fish interested in them.
5. Jaguar Marks their Territory with Urine and Claws
Just like what you would see some animals do, jaguar also marks the territory by urinating the place. On top of that, they would also scratch the trees with their claws to leave a mark.
The territories of a Jaguar can be approximately 80 kilometers wide. So, if you are somehow end up in a forest and finding the claw marks, that’s a sign that you need to be careful.
6. Jaguar’s Only Predator is Human
Big cats are top level predators and that includes a Jaguar. This means, they don’t have to worry about the other animals as they don’t have a natural predator to hunt them. However, what they need to face is humans. But, humans don’t hunt big cats or Jaguar for a survival matter.
Instead, these animals are hunt for sports and the fur is the prize as a proof of the human winning the sport. So, the creature that knows how to fight Jaguar is only human at this point.
7. Jaguar has a Great Sight
Jaguar has a better sight that human, especially during darker conditions. The animal has a layer of tissue in the back of the eyes that reflects light, making them able to see in the dark six times better than a normal human would be able to see.
8. Jaguar is the Third Largest Cats in the World
The largest cats in the world is Jaguar. The other big cats that are the bigger are tiger and lion. However, in America, Jaguar holds the throne of becoming the biggest cat in the continent.
9. Jaguar Can be Found in Forest, Woods and Desert Areas
Because of their amazing stealth skill, Jaguar lives best in the forest and woods. However, Jaguar can also live in desert areas. Jaguars can be found in Arizona.
Jaguar likes to travel far away and as they are solitary animal, they usually wander around by themselves except when they are mating.
In fact, in America, most of the Jaguars can be found in the state of Sorona, which is located in Mexico. The Sonoran Desert is located between the United States and Mexican border.
10. Male Jaguar is Bigger Than Female
Just like the other cats, the size of a jaguar depends on its gender. The male jaguar can weight approximately 60 to 110 kilograms, where the female ones are only around 45 to 95 kilograms.
They are able to grow between 1 to 2 meters in length. These sizes don’t include the tails, which can be around 60 centimeters in length. The tails are shorter if compared with the other big cats.
11. Jaguars Can Live Up to 12 Years
Jaguars can live up to 12 years during survival mode in the wild. However, if jaguars are taken care of in captivity, the age of jaguars can be prolonged to become up to 20 years old.
As the number one main threat of jaguars is human, by keeping them safe in the conservation, we are helping them to be protected by these hunters as well. Therefore, the actual life span of jaguars known today is about 20 years.
This consists of them being born and learning how to hunt for the first 2 years and be able to protect themselves without the mother afterwards.
However, for the first 2 years, the female jaguars are still protecting them as well as giving milk to keep them strong and healthy.
12. Jaguar is Solitary Animal
Jaguar is one of the solitary animals that like to solo travel, just like the other big cats. This means that they only seek for companion when it is mating season.
They would also take care of the cubs, but this is mainly the job of the female jaguar as the male ones will continue traveling after mating. So, the cubs will stay and be taken care by the mother instead.
13. Jaguar’s Mating Season is Between August and September
Jaguars would seek for mate around these months. The gestation period is approximately 100 days and this will create around one to four cubs per gestation.\
The mother will need to take care of the cubs because for the first two weeks after they are born, they are unable to see due to the eyelids sealed shut. Afterwards, they will begin to be able to see the world.
The cubs will have time to play around until they are 6 months old, in which the mother will teach them how to hunt. Two years after the birth, they will be able to leave the mother and survive alone in the wilderness.
However, this mating season happens in most areas. In the tropical places, jaguars are found to be producing the children any season.
The sexual maturity of female jaguars is approximately around the age of 3, and the males can still mate up until the age of 4. They are able to give birth to up to four cubs at once, but usually two.
14. The Status of Jaguar is Near Threatened
According to the Red List of Threatened Species by the International Union for Conservation, the status of Jaguar is near-threatened, or in other words, Jaguar is close to being endangered.
There are only approximately 15,000 jaguars in the wild as of now, according to the estimation of World Wildlife Federation. The number keeps decreasing as the practice of poaching as well as the destruction of the rainforest that takes out their natural habitat.
The last known female jaguar was shot in the United States. This happened in 1963 because a hunter mistook it as a bobcat.
15. There is Only One Male Jaguar in United States
With the last female jaguar in United States being shot to death, there is only one male jaguar left, which was named ‘El Jefe.’ This male jaguar is still young and can be found for the past 3 years near Tuscon, Santa Rita Mountain to be exact.
16. The Jaguar Before El Jefe was Killed in 2009
The other jaguar that was found in the United States before El Jefe was killed in 2009. This is another male jaguar and was named Macho B. He ended up being killed as there was an attempt to trap the jaguar with radio collar, yet it went wrong and resulted in its death.
17. The Death of Macho Became a Huge Scandal
Being the only male jaguar in 2009 and was killed due to human error, the death of this last jaguar at the time became a huge scandal. The scandal was headed to Arizona’s Fish and Game Department.
The place would eventually be checked and there was criminal investigation done as they have killed an endangered species.
18. There was Anti-predator Effort that Wiped out Jaguars
In the early 1900s, there were anti-predator efforts that made the jaguars wiped out form the northern. Therefore, today, the breeding population of the northern can only be found in the state of Sonora, Mexico due to the efforts.
However, the jaguars occasionally visit and make a home in the Arizona. Arizona is debated to by some conservationists.
It is believed that believe Arizona may be an important habitat for the jaguar. This may help the overall survival of jaguars because the climate is getting warm, and these big cats are moving towards north.
19. Jaguars Roam the South as well
Next facts about a jaguar, even though jaguars are heading to north due to climate change, they used to roam the southwestern area of United States as well.
They roamed in Texas to California, to be exact. In the mid-1800s, it was reported that a female jaguar and its two cubs were seen by James “Grizzly” Adams in California’s Tehachapi Mountains. The mountain is located near Bakersfield.
20. Jaguar Becomes a Representative of Aztec
The Aztec civilization appointed jaguars to become their representative. For them, jaguars represent ruler and warrior. They even formed a class of elite warriors and named the class Jaguar Knights. According to the myth of Aztecs, jaguars were the totem animal as it became the power of deity Tezcatlipoca.
21. The Symbol of Power and Strength to pre-Columbian Central and South America
On the other hand, jaguars were also representing the symbol of power and strength in another culture. The culture led to the forming of a jaguar cult by the Andean culture.
This became accepted in the modern Peru in 900 BCS. The Peruvian Amazon became the habitat as well as the migration path for jaguars as well, as they protect the remaining survival of the jaguar’s gene.
Being on top of the food chain, these animals are surely equipped with the amazing features that let them win in the battle of the wildlife. However, they still need to face human as the opponent and we all know how that turns.
The big animal in the world, like big cats are exotic animals, therefore are sought to be a proof of strength by some human as the blood, flesh, bones and skins are misused.
This leads to them being categorized as one of the endangered species, especially due to their natural habitat being taken away. Even when they are considered a solitary animal and can escape where the human seeks for them, they still need to be protected as the human thirst of ownership continue to beat the number of populations of the big cats. So, those are facts about a jaguar that hopefully fascinate you.