Brazil Fauna - Jaguar


Jaguar: Panthera onca
Common Name: Jaguar
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata (Vertebrata)
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Felidae
Genus: Pantherinae Panthera
Species: onca

Miscellaneous: People often confused the Jaguar and the Leopard with one another while they are held in captivity, like zoos. Their coloring and markings are so similar that it is difficult for people to distinguish them. The major difference lies in the center of the Jaguars rosettes markings, because unlike the leopard, the Jaguar has spots inside of its rosettes markings! The Jag is also a much stockier animal than its cousin, the Leopard, with shorter appendages, legs and tail – giving it more of a , stockier, pit bull appearance.

The name Jaguar comes from the Native American word "yaguar", which translated means "he who kills with one leap."

They are the third-largest feline cat after the Tiger and Lion and are the largest in the Americas. The Jaguar, like the Tiger, is not afraid of water and will enter bodies of water quite readily. The jaguar is unfortunately a near threatened species and its numbers are declining rapidly. Threats that this cat faces are loss and fragmentation of habitat. Trade in jaguars or their body parts is prohibited, the jaguar is still frequently killed by humans, particularly in conflicts with ranchers and farmers in South America. Although reducing on a daily bases, its range still remains relatively large. Due to the fact that the Jaguar had a large historical distribution it showed up in many indigenous cultures, even ones that have largely disappeared, like the Aztec and Maya.

Jaguars fur coat are mostly tawny yellow, generally, but can change from reddish-brown or even black for a large portion of the body. The large ventral areas are white. The Jaguar is covered in rosettes patterns, they are called "rosettes" as they are shaped like roses, for camouflage in the shifting light of the leafy habitat it generally lives in. Each pattern of rosettes is different for every individual Jaguar, no two Jaguar coat are exactly the same. The rosette spots vary over individual coats and may include one or several dots per pattern, and the shapes of the dots vary for every coat. The spots on the tail can form a band and may be solid on the neck and head.

There is disturbing new evidence that drug traffickers and drug producers are killing Jaguars that they find in their areas, These magnificent cats are attracting tourists and conservation people and organizations to the area that they frequent and this is bringing unwanted attention to areas that the drug traffickers would rather not have any attention brought to.

Female Jaguars come into sexual maturity at around two years, the male reaches sexual maturity a bit later at around three or four years. They are believed to mate during the course of the whole year but like most animals, they may produce more off spring when prey is plentiful. After mating the pairs separate and the male plays no part in the rearing of the off spring. The gestation period of the Jaguar lasts 93–105 days.