Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, North American Mammals
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Panthera onca


Order: Carnivora
Family: Felidae

Image of Panthera onca
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Conservation Status: Near Threatened. Continuing loss of habitat and poaching threaten this species.

Once native to the southwestern United States, breeding populations of Jaguars no longer exist in the region, and populations in Central and South America have become very small. Only in parts of the Amazon rain forest and the Pantanal are they relatively abundant. These giant spotted cats are the largest felids in the Americas. They are flesh-eaters, hunting by day or night; they concentrate on the most common of the large mammals living in their particular area. Very capable swimmers, they also sometimes hunt along watercourses, taking prey such as caiman, turtles, and fish. The home range of a Jaguar varies from 10-170 square km. They are not territorial, but do avoid one another, occasionally by calling out in a series of deep grunts, sounds that travel well through thick forest

Also known as:

Sexual Dimorphism:
Males are 10%-20% larger than females.

Range: 1,100-1,850 mm

Range: 31-158 kg


Linnaeus, C., 1758.  Systema Naturae per regna tria naturae, secundum classis, ordines, genera, species cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis, Tenth Edition.  Laurentii Salvii, Stockholm, 1:42, 824 pp.


Mammal Species of the World

Mammalian Species, American Society of Mammalogists' species account

Distribution of Panthera onca

Image of Panthera onca
Panthera onca (Jaguar), Peru
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Image of Panthera onca
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