Meet Nacho (melanistic) & Libre (spotted)
Jaguars are the only big cat in the Americas and the third biggest in the world after tigers and lions. A major distinction between the big cat family and small cat family is that big cats can’t purr but can roar, and small cats can’t roar but can purr.
Jaguars are ambush predators and spend a decent amount of time in trees. Unlike most predators that take down prey with a bite to the neck, jaguars use a bite to the back of the head. Their jaw strength is enough that they can actually pierce the skull.
A jaguars coat can be one of two distinct color mophs. The most commonly seen is the yellow “spotted” coat. The black coat is more common in the thick jungles near the equator and is caused by a high amount of melanin, hence the term “melanistic”. Melanistic jaguars still have rosettes like their spotted friends, but they are much more difficult to see.
Did you know?
Jaguars aren’t panthers, but they are part of the genus Panthera. Panther is a slang term often used to refer to any black cat within the Panthera genus including jaguars and leopards.
Common Name Jaguar
Scientific Name Panthera onca
Status Near Threatened
Life Span 12 - 15 Years