Critter Science

The Science of Animals


The Beautiful and Elusive Jaguar

The jaguar is only found in the Americas. Their range extends from as far north as Arizona and as far south as northern Argentina. They prefer rainforest environments but can also be found in other forested regions. They are recognized by their orange or yellow coats, dark spots, and short legs. The dark spots on their coats are not like any other cat’s spots. Each spot looks like a rose and are often called rosettes.

First the Stats…

Scientific name: Panthera onca
Weight: Up to 210 lbs.
Length: Up to 6.4 feet
Height: Up to 2.5 feet
Lifespan: Up to 15 years (in the wild) | Up to 23 years (in captivity)

Now on to the Facts!

1.) Like tigers, jaguars are good swimmers and enjoy doing so.

2.) The jaguar is the 3rd largest of the big cats after the lion and the tiger and is also the largest of all the big cats in north, central, and south America.

3.) Being stealth hunters, they have been seen jumping from trees onto their prey, even if their prey is in the water.

4.) They are carnivores that prey on approximately 80 different animal species, including deer, pigs, capybara, foxes, fish, frogs and even large anacondas.

5.) Jaguars are solitary creatures, only coming together to mate.

But wait, there’s more on the jaguar!

6.) These critters leave a scent to mark their territory from special glands and will also use urine to denote their borders.

7.) Many ancient American cultures, like the Mayans and Aztecs, featured the jaguar in their mythologies, the jaguar was often regarded as a symbol of power!

Did you know…?
The jaguar’s bite exerts more force than that of a lion!

8.) The name jaguar comes from the Native American word yaguar, which means “he who kills with one leap”.

9.) Females have litters of 1 – 4 cubs, which are blind and helpless at birth.

10.) The cubs stay with their mom for up to 1 – 1.5 years before venturing off on their own.

Now a Short Jaguar Video!

Learn more about all kinds of cool critters here.

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Critter Man

With over 40 years of critter experience to my credit and hundreds of zoology teaching hours to people around the world, I have amassed not only a continuing thirst for critter knowledge but a desire to teach others all I can about the majesty and wonder of our natural world. Critter Science is a culmination of such knowledge.I have hands on as well as book acquired intel on all kinds of critters. Whether they're on land, sea, or air.I will never say that I know everything about all animals. That's impossible, even for a savant. But, that being said, ask me any animal question and I'll answer it. If I don't know the answer, I'll get an answer for you!Let it be said that I have been oft times accused of loving animals more than I love people. I can neither confirm nor deny this.

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