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An Amazon Adventure--
Jaguar

"A beast that kills its prey with one bound" is the meaning of the jaguar's name, jaguara, a word that comes from the South American Indians.(The Cyber Zoomobile;p.1) According to the Webster's Dictionary, a jaguar is a "large,fierce cat of the same genus as the lion, tiger, and leopard.

The jaguar's tawny-yellow coat has many different descriptions, all beautiful. Compared with the leopard, the jaguar is generally larger, has a shorter tail, and a broader, heavier head. There are small-segregated spots on the jaguars head, and the neck has a dark open-ringed structure. A jaguar has one to four dark spots inside the rings. On the middle of the jaguar's back, a row of black spots merge into a solid line.(Jaguar: Panthera Onca; pgs.1,2)

Depending on whether the jaguar lives in the wild or with captive animals, the jaguars life span is varied. The average life span of a jaguar in the wild is fifteen to twenty years. With captive animals, the jaguar's life span is an average of twenty-five years.(Jaguar:Panthera Onca;p.1)

Most jaguars live in Central and South America. Jaguars live in dense tropical rain forests and swampy grasslands. The distribution range is from the Southern portion of the United States, and has been observed in the 1940's in South Argentina. (Jaguar:Panthera Onca;p.1,2)

Without seasons in most of the tropics, the jaguars breed cubs at any time. After the jaguars mate, the pair separate and the female provides all the parenting for the offspring.(Jaguar:Panthera Onca;P.1) The average litter is one to four cubs, which are born blind. The average weight of a new-born cub is two to two and a half pounds. The gestation period is ninety-five to one-hundred and five days. The cubs remain in the den where they were born for six months.(Jaguar:Panthera Onca;p.1,2)

The jaguar's prey consists of different types of animals-- capybara, tapir, and peccary. The jaguar is an opportunistic feeder and sometimes eat deer, sloths, armadillos, and fish.(The Cyber Zoomobile;p.1)

In conclusion, the jaguar is one of the biggest and cutest of the cat family. It is becoming an extinct species at a fast rate.