The 10 Most Important Jaguar Features

Some Characteristics of the jaguar Most important are being solitary animals, being a symbol of strength, their variety of roars and grunts, or their habitat especially in jungles of Mexico and Amazonas.

The jaguar is the largest of the big cats in South America and the third largest in the world. Their skin is usually brown or orange with black spots, called"rosettes"because they are shaped like roses.

Characteristics of the Jaguar

Some jaguars are so dark that they do not appear to have spots, although in reality they all have spots. Unlike many other cats, jaguars do not avoid water, in fact, they are very good swimmers.

The rivers provide prey in the form of fish, turtles or alligators, small animals similar to those of a crocodile. Jaguars also eat larger animals such as deer, peccaries, capybaras and tapirs.

Sometimes they climb trees to prepare an ambush, killing their prey with a powerful bite. Due to their size, strength and predatory abilities, jaguars are considered one of the"big cats"or big cats. Tigers, leopards, cheetahs and pumas are also part of this group.

Most prominent features of the jaguar

There are a set of traits that allow the jaguar to recognize and distinguish other animals of the same species.

Science over the years has determined certain peculiarities that show that the jaguar is a unique feline.

Etymology of the name

The name jaguar comes from the native word yaguar, which means"he who kills with a leap". These powerful hunters eventually climb trees to set up ambushes and jump over their prey.

One reason for this is that even though jaguars are fast runners they tire quickly, so they depend on proximity rather than sustained speed during the hunt.

Early life

Young puppies are born blind and helpless. They stay with their mother, who brings them alone, for about two years for protection and learning skills needed to independently hunt in the future.

Once they reach the age of three, jaguars become solitary animals, usually only gather to mate.

However, a recent study suggests that you actually meet and spend more time together than you ever expected, with some jaguars traveling together from time to time.


Although jaguars are famous for their recognizable black markings (rosettes) on all their bodies, of reddish tones, they can vary from reddish brown to black.

Black (melanistic) jaguars, also called black panthers, still have the typical markings, but are virtually obscured by excess black pigment melanin.

Culturally recognized

In ancient Central and South American cultures, the jaguar is considered a symbol of strength and is given as a prominent figure in religion, mythology and art.

Adored by the Aztecs, the jaguars were placed as guardians of their sacred temples and even named an elite class of warriors the Knights of Jaguar.

In Mayan civilizations the jaguar was the formidable God of the Underworld, and it helped the sun to travel under the Earth at night, ensuring that it would rise every morning.

The Olmecs understood the jaguars as divine gods who possess the ability to initiate earthquakes.

Voices and calls from nature

Jaguars have an amazing repertoire of calls, including a variety of grunts, snorts and"roars"that are more accurately described as a series of hoarse or grunting coughs.

Only members of the genus Panthera, ie the four large cats, namely lion, tiger, jaguar and leopard, may roar.

When they are younger the roar sounds a little different, when the air passes through the larynx in the path of the lungs, the cartilage walls of the larynx vibrate, producing sound.

Common geographical areas and myths

Unlike many felines, jaguars do not avoid water, in fact they are the most water-loving big cats and actually tend to live near rivers, lagoons, riverbeds and other hydrological zones.

Its habitat ranges from tropical jungles like the Amazon or Mexican jungles to seasonally flooded wetlands like the Pantanal in Brazil.

To end the myth completely, they are known to be good swimmers and eat turtles, fish and even pray about anacondas and alligators.

In Amazonian folklore it is even said that the jaguar hunts the Franco-Tambaqui fish, imitating the thud of the fruit that falls to the water with its tail.

Difference with the leopard

Jaguars (Panthera onca) and leopards (Panthera pardus) may look identical, but a leopard's rosettes are smaller and more densely packed, and do not have central points like jaguars.

In a rainforest you could both be found as both species are lovers of this type of habitat, but jaguars are the only member of the Panthera family found in the Americas, while leopards are found in Africa and Asia.

Jaguars are also heavier and more muscular, with shorter legs and tails. In fact, they have the shorter tails of the four large cats.

Natural Born Killers

Unlike most felines, which kill prey by grabbing the throat and suffocating it, the jaguar kills by piercing the skull or neck of its prey with a quick bite, demonstrating the incredible strength of its powerful jaws and impressive teeth.

In fact, the bite of a jaguar is twice as strong as that of a lion and can crush heavy bones into large prey easily.


Jaguars have huge eyes, the largest of all carnivores in relation to head size.

The eyes of the jaguars have round pupils and lilies that vary in color from golden to reddish yellow. Very young puppies have blue eyes.

Although their huge eyes are perfect to see in the dark, jaguars are not only nocturnal, like some p People mistakenly think.

According to recent studies, jaguars are also active during the day, with activity peaks at sunrise and sunset.

Curious fact

A perfume for men called Obsession, created by the famous brand Calvin Klein is very appealing to the jaguars .

Apparently a chemical called civetone, contained in the perfume and derived from olfactory glands of civets (night cats native to the Asian and African tropics), is responsible.

This chemical is thought to resemble a territorial mark on the jaguar, causing them to respond by rubbing their own scent on it.


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