What’s a jaguar? Find out all about them with these fun facts about jaguars!
Jaguars are big, strong, magnificent animals. They are incredible climbers, crawlers, and swimmers. With their sly moves, long leaps, and powerful jaws, they make excellent hunters. They are actually one of the few animals that are apex predators. This means that they are at the top of the food chain, and that no other animal hunts them.
Because of their top spot in the natural world, the jaguar is actually the perfect name for these amazing creatures. It is believed the name jaguar comes from the Tupi word “yaguara”, which means “beast of prey.”
Let’s learn some more awesome facts about jaguars.
Interesting jaguar facts
Jaguars are one of the ‘big cats’
A ‘big cat’ is a classification of larger felines that include lions, tigers, leopards, cheetahs and cougars. Jaguars are anywhere from five to six feet long, about three feet tall, and can weigh up to 250 pounds! In fact, the jaguar is the largest ‘big cat’ in the Americas and is the third largest cat in the world! Now, that is big!
Jaguars are covered with rosettes
Rosettes are the name of the circular spots that cover a jaguar’s coat. Because the spots are shaped like little roses, they are called rosettes. Some of the rosettes also have black dots in the middle of them. Their spotted fur helps them to stay camouflaged when they are on the hunt.
Some jaguars are melanistic
A melanistic jaguar is a jaguar that has black fur, rather than the usual orange tan. The darker fur sometimes makes their rosettes harder to see which gives them the appearance of being all black. Melanistic jaguars are sometimes referred to as black panthers.
Jaguars have powerful jaws
Jaguars have the strongest bite compared to any other ‘big cat.’ Their powerful jaws are able to pierce animal skull bones, the really hard shells of turtles, and the thick skin of crocodiles. Oh my!
Jaguars live in both desert land and the rainforest
Jaguars can be seen from the state of Arizona and down through South America. Once upon a time, there were many jaguars to be seen in the southwestern United States; however, over half of the wild jaguar population today, makes their home in Mexico and Brazil.
Jaguars love water
Unlike most cats, jaguars love to be near water and in water. They are often found living close to waters in wetlands, by rivers, and around lakes. Jaguars are also very confident swimmers, and they like to fish, too! They go fishing by dipping the tip of their tails in the water to lure the fish to them. Neat!
Baby jaguars are called cubs
A female jaguar will have up to 4 cubs. Cubs are born blind but are able to see after two weeks. They stay hidden for about six months, until they are ready to join their mom in hunting. Cubs stay with their mother for one and half to two years. At this time, the cubs are able to establish their own territory and will go off on their own.
Fun Facts about jaguars for kids
These interesting jaguar facts show you that jaguars are some of the most incredible animals in the world. What do you think?