The last jaguars in the United States were killed off during the early 20th century. Thanks to a population that has survived in Mexico, the species is now trying to return its own by crossing the U.S.-Mexico border and moving into former habitats. The jaguar is an apex predator playing a very important role in the ecosystem. Without the jaguar and other predators, prey species that feed on vegetation would decimate local plants.
- The word jaguar comes from the indigenous word ‘yaguar,’ which means ‘he who kills with one leap'.
- They are the world’s third largest cat in the world, right behind the tiger and the lion.
- Jaguars often live near bodies of water, and are known to be excellent swimmers.
- Cubs weigh around the same as a loaf of bread when they’re born.
- Their spots are called ‘rosettes’ because they are shaped like roses.
Species: P. Onca
Jaguars often live near lakes, rivers and wetlands, and prefer to avoid open forests and grasslands.