Kirsten Wagenaar

Baby Jaguar

In Uncategorized on November 12, 2008 at 9:46 pm

Baby Jaguar

The jaguar is the largest cat in the Americas. According to one Indian myth, the jaguar acquired its spotted coat by daubing mud on its body with its paws. Translated, the jaguar’s name means, “a beast that kills its prey with a single bound”. The Jaguar has a compact body, a broad head and powerful jaws. Its coat is normally yellow and tan, but the color can vary from reddish brown to black. The spots on the coat are more solid and black on the head and neck and become larger rosette-shaped patterns along the side and back of the body.

A condition known as melanism occurs in the species. The melanistic form is less common than the spotted form (it occurs at about six percent of the population)of jaguars in their South American range have been reported to possess it. Jaguars with melanism appear entirely black, although their spots are still visible on close examination. Melanistic Jaguars are informally known as black panthers, but do not form a separate species.

The jaguar hunts mostly on the ground, but it sometimes climbs a tree and pounces on its prey from above. It has very powerful jaws and sharp teeth and usually kills its prey with one crushing bite to the skull. Unlike most big cats, the jaguar loves the water. It often swims, bathes and plays in streams and pools. It will also hunt for fish in the water.
Other things it will hunt for are: deer, peccary, crocodiles, snakes, monkeys, deer, sloths, tapirs, turtles, eggs, frogs, fish and anything else it can catch.

The jaguar can be found in Arizona, New Mexico and Texas and from Mexico all the way down to Patagonia. It is rare in the United States and is a federal endangered species.

Sources: Wikipedia & http://www.defenders.org

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