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Male copperheads engage in combat dances where their heads and bodies are raised off the ground resulting in an intertwining of their necks until one hurls the other to the ground. This dance is done to establishing dominance. read more >


Scientific name: Panthera onca

CLASS: Mammalia
ORDER: Carnivora
FAMILY: Felidae

STATS: Length: 4-6 ft., Weight: 125-225 lbs.

The jaguar’s broad head and powerful body is a tawny yellow color, with dark spots on the head, neck and legs. The rest of the body is covered with circles with one or more dots in the middle. These spots are called rosettes. Some animals are black instead of tawny yellow, but spots on these animals can still be seen.

Central and South America, and Mexico

Dense brushes, forest, and swamps


  • The jaguar is a very solitary animal, and is seldom seen interacting with other jaguars at any time other than mating season.
  • The jaguar will primarily stay on land, although it is an excellent swimmer.
  • It communicates through various vocal sounds and the jaguar will use its scent (urine) to mark its territory.
  • Jaguars, like most predators, have excellent eye sight and can hear extremely well.
  • This cat has been seen hunting in both the daylight and the night, with its diet ranging from the larger rodent, capybara, to fish. The jaguar has developed the hunting skill of biting its prey through the temporal bones of the skull and killing it more quickly.

After fertilization, the gestation period is generally 95 to 110 days. The jaguar will have one to four cubs with the general birth weight being around 1.5 to 2 pounds. Juveniles will stay with the mother for up to three years.

Prey to: Humans / Predator to: the capybara, deer, pigs, sloth, fish, and small alligators turtles, and tapirs.

Deer, pigs, and other animals of nutritious value.

Listed as near threatened by IUCN and Appendix I with CITES due to habitat destruction, game hunting and poaching.


  • During the 1960's and 1970's, around 18,000 jaguars were killed every year due to poaching for the fur trade. Today the major threat for jaguars is that of deforestation.


  1. Mares, Michael. A Desert Calling. 2002.
  2. Nowak, Ronald M. Walker’s Mammals of the World: Volume II; John Hopkins University Press, 1991 p914
  3. IUCN Red List June 5, 2008

 Published: July 2008

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