Jaguar Essay

698 Words 3 Pages
Register to read the introduction… The scientific name, Panthera Onca, is known to most people as the jaguar. Panthera is Greek, meaning "hunter," and onca is Greek for "hook" or "barb," which is talking about the animal's claws. In South America the name for it is yaguar, which means a beast that kills its prey with one bound, or he who kills with one leap. The jaguar is on the endangered species list in the United States, Central, and South America. The jaguar is the largest cat in the western hemisphere and the third largest cat in the world. It is the only large cat in North America other than the American Lion, which was killed off after the last ice age about eleven thousand years …show more content…
The jaguar's fur is usually a rich shade of pale gold to rusty red with black spots, and a whitish shade on its stomach. What looks to be the jaguar's spots are really large broken-edge rosettes, or circles, which have smaller black sports in them. Some jaguars are all black or just really dark, but even they have little dark rosettes on them, which can only be seen in direct sunlight. The Jaguar is often confused with another well-known feline called the Leopard. Though both of these cats have a similar darkish/yellow base fur color, which is marked with dark rosette markings. You can tell that it is a Jaguar by the presence of small dots or irregular shapes within the larger rosette markings, a more stocky and muscular body and a shorter tail. The jaguar is marked with small isolated spots on the head and neck with dark open ring structures, rosettes, on the sides and flank that usually have one to four dark spots inside the …show more content…
Although the animal is not especially fast or large, the jaguar, with its strong biting muscles and sturdy pointed canine teeth, is thought to have the most lethal bite of any big cat. In fact, the jaguar's only living predator is a human with a firearm. The jaguar's padded feet make no noise on the forest floor, and the jaguar will not pounce on its prey until it nears it. The jaguar is a mammal and belongs to the family Felidae, a group that has thirty-seven species of wild and domestic cats. Although close to the modern jaguar, the prehistoric one was larger, heavier, and had longer legs. It developed into many subspecies, which most of them have likely died off and are extinct by now. According to scientists there are, right now, five to eight modern subspecies, which is barely different from each

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