The spots vary over individual coats and between individual jaguars: rosettes may include one or several dots, and the shape of the dots varies.
Rare albino individuals, sometimes called white panthers, occur among jaguars, as with the other big cats (Nowell and Jackson 1996).
The jaguar (Panthera onca) is a New World mammal of the Felidae family and one of four "big cats" in the Panthera genus, along with the tiger, lion, and leopard of the Old World.
All hunting of jaguars is prohibited in Argentina, Belize, Colombia, French Guiana, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Suriname, the United States, Uruguay, and Venezuela.
The jaguar is now extinct in El Salvador and Uruguay (Nowell et al.
Melanistic jaguars are informally known as black panthers, but do not form a separate species.
The jaguar's present range extends from Mexico (with occasional sightings in the southwestern United States) across much of Central America and south to Paraguay and northern Argentina.
Given the inaccessibility of much of the species' range—particularly the central Amazon—estimating jaguar numbers is difficult.
Jaguars with melanism appear entirely black, although their spots are still visible on close examination.
Fossil evidence shows jaguars of up to 190 kilograms (420 lbs), much larger than the contemporary average for the animal.
The jaguar also is a threat to livestock, and for such a reason their value has often been misunderstood.
Where sympatric with the jaguar, the cougar is smaller than normal.
The jaguar is often described as nocturnal, but is more specifically crepuscular (peak activity around dawn and dusk).
When adapted to the prey, the jaguar has been shown to take cattle as a large portion of its diet.
The jaguar is a protected species in the United States under the Endangered Species Act, which has stopped the shooting of the animal for its pelt.
A year earlier, 125–180 jaguars were estimated to be living in Mexico's 4,000 square kilometer (2400 miІ) Calakmul Biosphere Reserve, with another 350 in the state of Chiapas.
The etymology of the word jaguar is unclear.
A short and stocky limb structure makes the jaguar adept at climbing, crawling, and swimming.
The largest protected jaguar habitat is the 400 square kilometer Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary in Belize.
In Central and South America, the jaguar has long been a symbol of power and strength.
Ice Age fossils of the jaguar, dated between 40,000 and 11,500 kya, have been discovered in the United States, including some at an important site as far north as Missouri.
The jaguar hunts wild animals weighing up to 300 kilograms (660 lb) in dense jungle, and its short and sturdy physique is thus an adaptation to its prey and environment.
Umbrella species serve as "mobile links" at the landscape scale, in the jaguar's case through predation.
The jaguar prefers large prey and will take deer, tapirs, peccaries, dogs, and even anacondas and caiman.
By 900 B.C.E., the Chavнn cult of the jaguar became accepted over most of what is today Peru.
Like all cats, the jaguar is an obligate carnivore, feeding only on meat.
The jaguar is the only New World member of the Panthera genus.
The Maya saw these powerful felines as their companions in the spiritual world, and kings were typically given a royal name incorporating the word jaguar.
Early etymological reports were that jaguara means "a beast that kills its prey with one bound," and this claim persists in a number of sources.
The jaguar tends to take larger prey and the cougar smaller, reducing the latter's size (Iriarte et al.
The jaguar is regulated as an Appendix I species under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES): all international trade in jaguars or their parts is prohibited.
The jaguar may hunt during the day if game is available and is a relatively energetic feline, spending as much as 50–60 percent of its time active (Nowell and Jackson 1996).
Research on captive male jaguars supports the year-round mating hypothesis, with no seasonal variation in semen traits and ejaculatory quality; low reproductive success has also been observed in captivity (Morato et al.
The Aztec civilization shared this image of the jaguar as the representative of the ruler and as a warrior.
By contrast, a study of the jaguar in the Brazilian Pantanal region found average weights of 100 kilograms (220 lbs).
Conservation organizations may thus focus on providing viable, connected habitat for the jaguar, with the knowledge that other species will also benefit.
Concurrent with Chavнn, the Olmec, the progenitor culture of Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica, developed a distinct "were-jaguar" motif of sculptures and figurines showing stylized jaguars or humans with jaguar characteristics.
A study published in 2006 in the Journal of the American Medical Association, asserts nonetheless that the benefits of eating even farmed salmon still outweigh any risks imposed by contaminants (Mozaffarian and Rimm 2006).
The skull bite is employed with mammals in particular; with reptiles such as the caiman, the jaguar may leap on to the back of the prey and sever the cervical vertebrae, immobilizing the target.
Hunting or relocation of the cougar may increase aggressive encounters by disrupting territories and bringing young, transient animals into conflict with established individuals (WEG 2007).
The jaguar and the cougar, the next largest feline of the Americas, are often sympatric (related species sharing overlapping territory) and have often been studied in conjunction.
The base coat of the jaguar is generally a tawny yellow, but can range to reddish-brown and black.
On killing prey, the jaguar will drag the carcass to a thicket or other secluded spot.
Fossils of extinct Panthera species, such as the European jaguar (Panthera gombaszoegensis) and the American lion (Panthera atrox), show characteristics of both the lion and the jaguar (Janczewski et al.
In Aztec mythology, the jaguar was considered to be the totem animal of the powerful deity Tezcatlipoca.
Like most cats, the jaguar is solitary outside mother-cub groups.
The jaguar is a stalk-and-ambush rather than a chase predator.
The jaguar also has an effect on other predators.
The major risks to the jaguar include deforestation across its habitat, increasing competition for food with human beings (Nowell et al.
The jaguar is the third-largest feline after the tiger and the lion, and on average the largest and most powerful feline in the Western Hemisphere.
Larger jaguars have been recorded as weighing 131–151 kilograms (288–333 lbs) (matching the average for lion and tiger females), and smaller ones have extremely low weights of 36 kilograms (80 lbs).
The jaguar is generally defined as an "umbrella species"—a species whose home range and habitat requirements are sufficiently broad that, if protected, numerous other species of smaller range will also be protected.
The jaguar is strongly associated with water and it often prefers to live by rivers, swamps, and in dense rainforest with thick cover for stalking prey.
In 2004, wildlife officials in Arizona photographed and documented jaguars in the south of the state.
Typical lifespan in the wild is estimated at around 12–15 years; in captivity, the jaguar lives up to 23 years, placing it among the longest-lived cats.
The jaguar is an apex predator, meaning that it exists at the top of its food chain and is not regularly preyed on in the wild.
The jaguar is considered near-threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (Nowell et al.
Jaguar females reach sexual maturity at about two years of age, and males at three or four.
The last taxonomic delineation of the jaguar subspecies was performed by Pocock in 1939.
Jaguars also have rounder heads and shorter, stockier limbs compared to leopards.
The jaguar has developed an exceptionally powerful bite, even relative to the other big cats (Wroe et al.
The Aztecs formed an elite warrior class known as the Jaguar Knights.
The jaguar is a compact and well-muscled animal.
The jaguar is a largely solitary, stalk-and-ambush predator, and is opportunistic in prey selection.
The jaguar's elusive nature and the inaccessibility of much of its preferred habitat make it a difficult animal to sight, let alone study.
The jaguar plays an important role in stabilizing ecosystems and regulating the populations of prey species.
Unlike many other cats, jaguars do not avoid water; in fact, they are quite good swimmers. Rivers provide prey in the form of fish, turtles, or caimans—small, alligatorlike animals. Jaguars also eat larger animals such as deer, peccaries, capybaras, and tapirs.
Rivers provide prey in the form of fish, turtles, or caimans—small, alligatorlike animals. Jaguars also eat larger animals such as deer, peccaries, capybaras, and tapirs. They sometimes climb trees to prepare an ambush, killing their prey with one powerful bite.
Jaguars are considered an apex predator and a keystone species. As a top predator and keystone species, jaguars play a crucial role in the ecosystem. Without the jaguar, herbivorous prey animals would decimate the plants of their ecosystem.
Although Jaguars rarely attack humans, and they are actually the least likely of all big cat species to do so, fear prevails in much of the country. “Most people kill jaguars because they are misinformed,” Pomareda said. “People think that if it attacks cows, it will attack them or their children.”Jan 16, 2014
A black panther is the melanistic color variant of any big cat species. Black panthers in Asia and Africa are leopards (Panthera pardus), and those in the Americas are black jaguars (Panthera onca).
The jaguar is endangered because it is hunted for its fur, and farmers kill the jaguar because it killed their cattle. ... Poaching jaguars by hunting is still a problem, as there is a great demand for their coats.
Panther FactsKingdom: Five groups that classify all living thingsAnimaliaScientific Name: Comprised of the genus followed by the speciesPanthera pardus, Panthera oncaCommon Name: Most widely used name for the speciesPantherOther Name(s):Black Panther, Black Leopard, Black Jaguar37 more rows