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Jaguar

Panthera onca

Range

  • As far north as Mexico extending through Central America to central South America

Habitat

  • Tropical American rainforests

Diet

  • Deer
  • Peccary
  • Crocodiles
  • Snakes
  • Monkeys
  • Sloths
  • Tapirs
  • Turtles
  • Eggs
  • Frogs
  • Fish

The Native American word yaguar means “he who kills with one leap”.

Living in the trees or swimming in waterways, jaguars are well-adapted to the rainforest. Anything is on the jaguar’s menu, from fish to caiman to deer. With the highest bite strength of any cat, the jaguar’s trademark technique is to bit right through an animal’s skull. Their spots serve as camouflage and mimic the effect of dappled patches of sunlight on the forest floor. Jaguars’ large rosettes often enclose center spot, whereas leopards’ smaller rosettes have no center spot.

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