Common Name: Jaguar

Scientific Name: Panthera onca

 

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Mammalia

Order: Carnivora

Family: Felidae

Genus: Panthera

Species: P. onca

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Panthera Onca is the scientific name for Jaguar. Jaguar is one of the four biggest cats along with the lion, the leopard, and the tiger. Jaguar is the third largest feline after the lion and the tiger. Jaguars have a body length between 3.5 – 6.25 feet long and a tail length between 18-30 inches long. They weigh between 70-350 pounds. Female jaguars are 20% smaller than male jaguars. The Jaguars have short stocky limbs that make it possible for them to climb, swim, and crouch; also they have a strong head and a very powerful jaw. Jaguar’s main color of jaguars is reddish brown and over its body, it is covered with irregularly shaped rosette markings. Jaguars are located in the forests, swamps, dry woodland and grasslands of Central and South America. Jaguars are mostly found in the Amazon Basin. Jaguars are solitary and they are apart from their mother.

 

They have their territory which can be 17-87 miles. The territories of the male jaguars are larger than female jaguars. They do well in their ecosystem because when they are being hunted by humans they can easily hide and avoid being caught. Since jaguars are mostly found at the Amazon Basin the populations of jaguars are about 15,000. The populations of jaguars are decreasing because they are endangered and near threatened. Jaguars are carnivores and they eat over 85 species. Jaguars prey on large animals such as peccaries, tapirs, and deer. They also prey on caimans, turtles, snakes, fish, large birds and many more animals. Jaguars are such powerful and dangerous animals that they bite their prey’s neck or they kill them instantly by piercing the back of their skull with their canines and its powerful jaw! Their jaw is so strong that it can get through reptile skins and turtle carapaces. Jaguars have no real predators other than humans. Jaguars evade from being killed or eaten because they are colored and secretive. Interesting facts about Jaguars is that they are dangerous and extremely powerful. They have nice skin/body color and male jaguars are 20% bigger.

 

Author: Eduardo G

Published: 02/2009

 

Sources: 1. Encyclopedia, 2002 Marshall Cavendish Corporation 2. http://www.theanimalfiles.com/mammals/carnivores/jaguar.html 3. http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Panthera_onca.html

 

Photo Credit: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Jaguar_sitting-edit1.jpg