It's a great day meet the jaguar. But, first will you stop and put your pretend-eyes on? Jaguar does not like humans! He does not trust people! They want his pretty coat to make people things like purses or coats. When he is real hungry, jaguar kills the farmer's cows. The farmer shoots at him.
So, even if we were in the wild, we would probably never see this beautiful big cat up close. But, now you know why jaguar hides from people.
Jaguar's yellowish coat is spotted with black rosettes or rings. They help him blend into the environment. We know less about jaguar than other big cats because he is so hard to find.
Anatomy: Let's Spot a Jaguar!
When we pretend, we can do anything, go anywhere. Let's go on a pretend journey to the jungle! It is our job to find a jaguar and follow him around. Don't worry, we'll make ourselves invisible. We can see him, but jaguar can't see us!
We know he is a very large cat with big black spots. But, did you know his spots are like our fingerprints? Spots are different on each jaguar like fingerprints are different on each human.
He can weigh up to 350 pounds and grow up to six feet long. His head is big and broad. His eyes are saucer-like. Jaguar sees in color! Jaws and sharp pointy teeth are super-strong. To kill his prey, jaguar can bite through the skull all the way to the brain.
Look at jaguar's shoulders and legs. You can see his huge muscles! His back legs or limbs are longer than his front or forelimbs, which makes jaguar a great jumper. The front or forepaws have long retractable claws. This means he can pull his claws back into his paws when not using them to hold his food or grip the ground when he walks.
Jaguar's tongue is bumpy so that he can separate skin from meat and strip it off bones.
Let's make a mind-picture, so that when we meet our jaguar, we will know him. It's easy to mix him up with the leopard. So, here is what we have learned: the rosettes on our jaguar's coat are larger and they have spots in the middle, the head is rounder and legs are shorter than the leopard.
We probably wouldn't ever see the leopard and jaguar in the same place in the wild. Our jaguar lives in places where leopards are not found. It is simply a smart thing to know how to tell them apart.
Gender: We Spy a Female!
The female jaguar looks like the male, except she is smaller. When scientists studied the male and female jaguar in the Mayan forest they found that both liked the tall forest. The female also liked the short forest but the males did not.
Female jaguars would not walk on roads. Males walked across roads to get to cattle ranches.
Baby Jaguars: Let's Drop-in on the Babies!
We are very lucky explorers! We have found a cave where newborn jaguar cubs are living. Isn't it strange that they are called cubs? It would make more sense to call them kittens.
Mother jaguars can birth from one to four cubs that weigh from 1-2 pounds. Look closely and you will see the babies are blind. Don't worry,...