The subject of many myths and hunters’ tales, the jaguar is the largest wild cat native to the Americas. It is now extremely rare outside captivity as the result of being hunted for its attractive skin.
Jaguars live in a variety of habitats, from dense jungle and scrubland to reed thickets and shore-line forests. They will even live in open country provided the grass and rocks offer sufficient cover for hunting and a reliable supply of water is available.
Where do jaguars live?
In many countries, rapid expansion of forest clearing to provide pastures for beef cattle and to build new settlements has finished what the hunters began. Jaguars are said to still be common in the upper basin of the Orinoco, Venezuela, but almost everywhere else they are in danger of extinction. In fact there are believed to be less that 200 jaguars left in the whole of Argentina! At this rate, the only flourishing population of jaguars left will be those held by world’s zoos.
Jaguars have a reputation for being man-eaters, and there are many hunters’ tales of men being followed for mile after mile through the forest by a solitary jaguar, which eventually fades away as silently as it appeared. This suggests that the animal was escorting the men off from its territory. If the jaguar had been hunting them, it would have had plenty of opportunities to attack and kill its intended prey.
The size of the jaguar’s territory depends on the availability of food. Where food is plentiful – as you would expect in an area of undisturbed forest – a jaguar should be able to feed itself from a circular area of about 5km in diameter. Where food is scarcer – perhaps because the forest has been cleared – a jaguar may need a territory of 500sq km, 30 times larger!
What do Jaguars eat?
Although jaguars are good climbers, they hunt mainly on the ground at night. They will however, climb trees in order to lie and wait for prey.
The jaguar can over short distances rapidly, but it will tire quickly. Therefore its successful kills rely on both surprise and getting sufficiently close to unsuspecting prey.
The jaguar is especially skilled at catching fish, which it achieves by lying motionless on a rock or overhanging branch, then flipping the fish out on the bank with its paw.
Jaguars will also take domestic animals – particularly where the forest has been cleared for farmland.
After the kill, jaguars will drag their pray into cover before eating it, often burying part of the carcass to finish it off later.
It appears that male and female and female jaguars meet in the wild only to mate. The male leaves as soon as mating is over, and the female brings up the young on her own. She produces between one and four cubs, which are blind at birth and weigh only 700-900 grams each. All-black jaguars are not uncommon. These cubs would have had a spotted father and a black mother.
Two weeks later, the cubs will open their eyes. During the following weeks they begin to explore the world outside of their mothers den until – at about six months old – they begin to accompany her on hunting trips. The cubs will live and hunt with their mother for the first two years of their life, before leaving to find a territory of their own in which to hunt. A jaguar is sexually mature at three years old, but males do not breed until a year later.
Click here for related articles:
All about Animals
All about Chimpanzees
All About Coyotes
All about Jaguars
All about Polar Bears
All About Wolves
All about Lions
Are Zebras Black with White Stripes or White with Black Stripes?
Can Flying Fish really Fly?
Cheetah Facts, Videos and Photographs
Do Fish Sleep?
How do you find Truffles?
How fast is a Snail?
How Long can a Flying Fish Fly for?
Komodo Dragon Facts
Komodo Dragon Habitat
LIVING DINOSAURS - The Coelacanth
The Snow Leopard
Peafowl and Peacocks
Polar Bear Facts
Portuguese Man of War Stings
Rango Facts and Movie Videos
The Blue Whale
The Coelacanth - a living, breathing fossil
The Differences Between Crocodiles and Alligators
The Differences Between Horses and Zebras?
The Duck-Billed Platypus
The Flying Squirrel
The Javan Rhinoceros - Rhinoceros sondaicus
The Jesus Christ Lizard
The Komodo Dragon
The Indian Lion
Where can you find Komodo Dragons?
The Portuguese Man of War
The Tasmanian Tiger
The Wild Coyote Dog
The World's Ugliest Animals
What are the Nine Sub-Species of Tiger?
What Animal is Sid from the Film 'Ice Age'?
What are Mycorrhizal Fungi?
What are Plant Macronutrients and Micronutrients?
What are Plant Nutrients?
What Causes Blue Hydrangeas to Turn Pink?
What Causes Moss in Lawns
What do Chimpanzees Eat?
What do Flamingoes Eat?
What do Giraffes Eat?
What do Jaguars Eat?
What do Koalas Eat?
What do Komodo Dragons Eat?
What do Pandas Eat?
What do Peacocks Eat?
What do Polar Bears Eat?
What do Snow Leopards Eat?
What do Tigers Eat?
What does a Wolf Eat?
What is Chlorosis?
What is a Dragonfly?
What is Frankincense?
What is John Innes Base?
What is John Innes Compost?
What is a Leaf Mould Compost?
What is Cork Made of?
What is an Alligator?
What is a Duck-Billed Platypus?
What is a Dolphin?
What is a Gorilla?
What is a Jaguar?
What is a Portuguese man of war?
What is a Naked Mole Rat?
What is a Koala?
What is a Komodo Dragon?
What is a Snow Leopard?
What is the Tasmanian Tiger?
What is a Tiger?
What is a Wolf?
What is a Wormery?
What is an Epiphyte?
What is Fibre?
What is an F1 Hybrid?
What is an Orchid?
What is Over-watering and How to Recognise it?
What is Pricking out?
What is Rhubarb Poisoning?
What is the Difference between African and Indian Elephants?
What is the Difference Between Alligators and Crocodiles?
What is the Difference Between Fruit and Vegetables
What is the Difference between a Fruit and a Vegetable?
What is the Difference between a Frog and a Toad?
What is the Difference between a Moth and a Butterfly?
What is the Difference between a Rat and a Mouse?
What is the Difference Between a Tortoise and a Turtle?
What is the Difference Between a Plant Cell and an Animal Cell?
What is the Difference between Currants, Raisins and Sultanas?
What is the Most Poisonous Snake in India?
What is Saffron?
What is the World's Biggest Cat?
What is the Worlds Biggest Shark?
What is the Worlds Fastest Animal?
What is the Worlds Fastest Bird?
What is the Worlds Largest Amphibian?
What is the Worlds Largest Eagle?
What is the Worlds Largest Flower?
What is the Worlds Largest Insect?
What is the World's Largest Species of Tiger?
What is the World's Largest Spider?
What is the Worlds Fastest Bird?
What is the Worlds Fastest Fish?
What is the Worlds most Poisonous Frog?
What is the World's most Poisonous Snake?
What is the World's Ugliest Dog?
What is the Most Poisonous Spider?
When should you Re-pot an Orchid?
Where can you find the Golden Eagle?
Where can you find Pandas?
Where do Cheetahs Live?
Where do Giraffes Live?
Where do Gorillas Live?
Where do Jaguars Live?
Where do Kangaroos Live?
Where do Koalas Live?
Where do Peacocks Live?
Where do Manatees Live?
Where do Pandas Live?
Where do Polar Bears Live?
Where to find Black Widows?
Where to find Dolphins?
Where can you find Flamigoes?
Where can you find Flying Squirrels?
Where to find Jaguars?
Where to find Snow leopards?
Where do Snow Leopards Live?
Where do Tigers Live?
Where do Wolves Live?
Where do Zebras Live?
Where do you Find Black Widow Spiders?
Where to find Red Squirrels?
Why are Flamingoes Pink?
Why do Flamingoes stand on one leg?
Why do Giraffes have Long Necks?
Why do Onions make you Cry?
Why do Leaves Change their Colour in the Autumn Fall
Why do Trees drop their Leaves in Autumn Fall
Why is the Sea Salty?
Why is the Sky Blue?
World's Largest Insect
Images care of http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/wildlife/8190527/Jaguar-defeats-caiman-in-battle-of-predators.html and http://www.animal-space.net/2010/09/animal-mothers-with-babies.html and http://www.hdwallpapers.in/jaguar_cub_fighting_mother-wallpapers.html
Based on an article from MXM IMP BV/IMP LTD WILDLIFE FACTS