NextAnimal ListPreviousAnimal Profiles
Mammal. The largest cat of the Americas, the jaguar has become a symbol of power, strength, and beauty. Once worshipped as a god, the jaguar's name comes from a native American word meaning “the killer that takes its prey in a single bound.” Jaguars' skill in hunting is partly due to their extremely strong jaws. Jaguars make a variety of sounds, including roaring, mewing, and grunting. They are excellent swimmers, and they enjoy being in the water. While they do most of their stalking on the ground, they are also skilled at climbing and fishing. Like black leopards, black jaguars are called panthers.
Scientific Name Lifespan
Panthera onca 12 years, 20 in captivity
Carnivore. Armadillos, fish, reptiles, caimans, monkeys, deer, cattle and horses.
Predators and Threats
Typically forests, but also woodlands and grasslands, preferring areas that are close to water; Northern Mexico, Central America, north and central parts of South America, dense rainforests of the Amazon Basin.