|Scientific name: Panthera Onca|
The jaguar can weigh from 175 lbs. to 250 lbs. and stands about two and a half to three feet tall. It has spots called rosettes, which are 2 to 4 spots inside of a black ring. It is almost exactly like the leopard in appearance, but the jaguar is stockier and has a shorter tail. It is also common for the jaguar to be all black. It is then known as the panther. If you see a panther's coat in the sunlight, you can see the spots on its coat.
Jaguars are found mainly in the Amazon rainforest and in India.
Jaguars love to swim and to soak in the water so they take to the rainforests. The jaguar's habitat needs a lot of trees and plants for the jaguar to hide from its prey while it hunts. The jaguar blends fairly well with its surroundings, but it still needs some cover in which to hide.
"Jaguars: Real King of the Jungle
The jaguar has a fairly long life span of up to eighteen years. One of the oldest jaguars found living in the wild was twenty-one years old. They have been found to live much longer in zoos though, up to thirty years.
The jaguar enjoys a wide range of foods. Farmers in India and around the Amazon call it a menace because sometimes it has to come out of the rainforest to kill cattle or sheep. It also likes to eat birds, fish, monkeys, deer, a variety of rodents, and other small mammals. It sometimes has been known to attack young crocodiles. Seven times out of ten, the jaguar will get its meal, even the crocodile!
Jaguars breed year round and have from one to four cubs per litter. A newborn cub can weigh from about 25 oz. to 32oz. The mother digs a den or uses an abandoned den in which to have her cubs. The cubs are weaned at about three months old but stay around the den for another six months. At about seven months old, the cub(s) may be allowed to follow the mother on a hunt, but only to watch. After watching several hunts, the cubs start to prey on bugs, birds, and small reptiles such as lizards. The mother may now let them wander around her territory, but not too far from the den. Though the mother may leave the cubs at any time, the usual time is around one to two years after their birth.
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