Jaguars are the largest cats in the Western hemisphere, and are the third-largest felines, only after the tigers and the lions, and are also the largest in the Americas. Like leopards, jaguars that are melanistic are known as black panthers.

Scientific Name – Panthera onca

Classification – Panthera

Gender Names – Male – male; Female – female; Baby – cub

Length/Size – 1.1m – 1.9m (43in – 75in)

Weight – 36kg – 160kg (79lbs – 350lbs)

Top Speed – 80kph (50mph)

Life Expectancy – 12 – 15 years; up to 20 in captivity

Mating Season  No fixed breeding season

Gestation Period – 100 days

Special Features  The dark spots that they bear on the coats are unique from other cat spots, with each spot resembling a rose, and hence called rosettes

Social Structure – Solitary animals and live and hunt alone, except during mating season

Geographical Distribution – Southwestern US and Mexico, much of Central America and south to Paraguay and northern Argentina

Natural Habitat – Rain forests in Central and South America (largest population in the Amazon rain forests)

World Population – 15,000

Conservation Status – Near Threatened

Diet – Deer, Capybara, Tapir

Predators – Human