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  • Jaguar is a predator of the Felidae family, belonging to the Pantherinae subfamily. Guarani Indians called this spotted cat “yaguara”: the beast that kills by a single jump.

    Jaguar’s massive stocky body reaches a length of 120 – 185 cm without a tail; it has at the withers an average of 68 – 76 cm, weight varies from 68 to 136 kg (usually 70 – 95 kg). Tail length is 70 – 91 cm. Males are larger and heavier than females at 20%.

    Jaguar’s colors are similar to the leopard’s, but the black spots on its head, legs and belly are solid, and “socket” on the sides looks another way: the round pattern encircles a central dark spot (or a few small spots). The general background of a hair are various shades of red or yellow. The belly is white, the ears back side is a black with a white spot, a black stripe continues the corner of a mouth.

    There are black jaguars (melanistic), at whom black spotted pattern can be seen too. Black kittens may appear together with usual color kittens in the same brood.

    Like at the leopard the jaguar’s spots and dots are on its skin individually.

    Jaguar habitat reaches from Central America to northern Argentina. Jaguars are killed off completely in Uruguay and El Salvador; the biggest representatives of the species can be found in Brazil (Mato Grosso).

    Animal lives in rainforests mainly, although it possible to meet jaguar in the pampas and in territories overgrown with xerophytic shrubs (deserts and semi-deserts, and seaside). But is rare in mountainous areas. Currently, this animal habitat is cut to 2/3 comparing with the initial (for example, in the south of the United States the last members of the species were killed in 1900).

    Jaguar’s lifestyle is solitary; it prefers to hunt after sunset and before sunrise. A single individual’s territory is from 25 to 100 square kilometers. The size of the territory (usually it’s a triangle), depends on the terrain, the amount of wild fowl and animal’s gender (female has smaller area). In a particular area of its territory, male jaguar hunts usually 3 – 4 days, and then change the region. The spotted cat checks its “boundary points” every two weeks. It is not tolerate to the presence of other cats (cougars) at its territory, but this animal is peace-loving towards its relatives, that’s why jaguars’ territories can crossing between each other.

    It is waiting for its prey sitting in ambush: on a tree or in the tall grass near the waterhole. During the attack it is jumping on the victim from the back or from the side, trying to grab his neck, and sometimes, in contrast to other cats, bites through the victim’s skull. Jaguar’s main preys are capybaras, peccaries, tapirs, etc., as well as birds, monkeys, snakes and rodents.

    With pleasure it attacks livestock, trying to topple an animal on to the ground; but does not follow after running away animals. It digs out turtle eggs on the coast, as well as deals with turtles, getting away reptile’s soft parts by paw through the front opening (and can crush by teeth not a large individual). This beast is a great fisherman and a good swimmer.

    Jaguar eats the prey starting with its head. If it is large, an animal satisfies its hunger in 2 portions every 10 -12 hours. And practically does not eat carrion. Hunting, jaguar jerky and guttural growls, and loudly roars at nights and in the mating season.

    Its breeding season is not expressed explicitly in the tropics, and its fertility peak comes in rainy season at areas with wet period. Jaguars can assemble in groups in the mating season.. Sometimes the fights between males happen, but the choice whom to be a partner depends on females, they leaving for the territory of their favorites.

    After mating, the male leaves the female. From 1 to 4 blind and deaf kittens appear after 100 – 110 days in dense bush or lair among the rocks. Kittens begin to hunt with her mother after 6 weeks and stay with it for about 2 years until young cats will find own area. Sexual maturity comes in 3 years. Jaguars’ life term in a wild nature is not investigated well, captive jaguars live up to 25 years.

    In spite of the fact that jaguar attacks people rarely, it is practically killed off completely because of its valuable fur at a substantial part of its geographic range. Ranchers fearing for their herds play not the last role in the extermination of spotted cats. Currently, the jaguar is registered in the Red Book, but the hunting for this animal is permitted in Brazil, Mexico and Bolivia.