Jaguar is a predatory animal of the cat family, one of four representatives of the genus Panther. Jaguar is the only representative of the genus in the territory of the American continent. He is the third largest in the world, and the largest representative of the cat family in the New World.
The body length of the jaguar without tail is 120 -180 cm, tail length 45-75 cm, body weight 35-120 kg, but most individuals weigh 70-110 kg. Record weight was put by a male weighing 158 kg. Female is usually 20% smaller and lighter. Usually the adult male of a large subspecies weighs 90-110 kg, and the female weighs 60 – 80 kg. The height at the withers is 68 – 81 cm.
The jaguar area begins with the jungles of Central America and extends to the marshes and selva of Mato Grosso in Brazil, as well as the north of Argentina. The largest jaguar individuals are found in the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso. The animals were completely destroyed in El Salvador and Uruguay.
Jaguar mainly lives in tropical rain forests, and occasionally occurs in areas covered with xerophytic bushes. Jaguars are found in mountain forests at an altitude of 2 km, and on the coasts of the ocean, where a large cat searches for and digs out the eggs of turtles.
Previously, the jaguar lived throughout the south of the current US. Now the habitat of the jaguar is a third of the original.
Jaguars lead a solitary life. Jaguars are territorial beasts, however, like all predatory cats. The territory of a single jaguar can be from 25 to 100 square kilometers. It depends on the landscape and the amount of food on the territory, as well as the gender of the jaguar. Usually the hunting site of the male resembles a triangle in shape. The male hunts for 3-4 days in a certain area of his territory, and then moves on to another. In addition, the animal visits certain “border points” of its territory every 10-15 days. On its territory, the jaguar shows extreme intolerance towards other cat’s (pumas, ocelots), but, strangely enough, quite peace-loving to its fellows and the hunting grounds of jaguars often overlap.
Jaguar prefers to hunt in the twilight. The most active hunting hours of the animal come after sunset and before dawn.
The main food of jaguars is capybar and ungulate, like bakers and tapirs. Just as often to him for dinner he comes across birds, monkeys, foxes, snakes and rodents. A special delicacy for a jaguar is the tortoise – the powerful jaws of a large cat can grasp the shell. Just as often, jaguars attack livestock. Unlike other big cats, jaguars are excellent swimmers, so they rarely miss a victim who tries to escape from them in the water. These animals were also noticed digging turtle eggs from the sand on the ocean coast and fishing in streams and rivers. There were cases when the jaguars attacked the caimans.
A hunt jaguar prefers from an ambush in high grass or on a tree. He sits on the shore of a pond in dense grass or on approaches to watering. When attacked, this cat, as a rule, attacks from the back or side, making a grab by the neck. When attacking cattle, the jaguar tries to knock the victim down, knock her down, while the victim is severely injured, sometimes deadly. Most of the cows that became victims of the jaguars died from a fracture of the cervical vertebrae as a result of the fall. From other big cats the jaguar is distinguished by the fact that it sometimes bites the skull to its victims. In the event that a potential victim has discovered a danger and flies, the jaguar never pursues it.
During the hunt, the animal produces a low, jerky, guttural grunt, and at night and during the mating season, it roars deafeningly.
Jaguar eats prey from the head and gradually moves to its rear. After killing a large victim, the predator remains with her, eating two meals, with an interval of 10-12 hours. They practically do not eat carrion, and almost never come back to the remnants of their victims.
Jaguars attack people extremely rarely. Unprovoked attacks have been recorded very little. Cannibalism among jaguars is an exceptional phenomenon. Usually, a jaguar attack on a person is a protective reaction. If it is not provoked, then the jaguar does not show aggression. Even when pursuing a person, most often it happens because of natural curiosity, and not because of the desire to attack.
In captivity, jaguars live up to 25 years.