Jaguar the Book Essay

698 Words Nov 20th, 2005 3 Pages
The Jaguar

The book I read for this report was on Jaguars, their size, possible extinction, their behavior, and their habitat. 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
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Like all cats, the jaguar can intently focus its attention on its prey. 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 other.
Their diet consists mostly of mammals consisting of: gray brocket deer, rabbits, armadillos, peccaries, salt desert cavies, wild guinea pigs, tapirs, peccaries, porcupines, otters, sloth, capybaras, armadillos, monkeys, skunks, and coatis. Their diet also has reptiles: snakes iguanas, and caimans, turtles, and tortoises. The last but not least are birds such as: herons, storks, anhinga, cormorants, and curassows. When they

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