The jaguar is the largest native cat species of the New World, and the third largest in the world. The species has largely been extirpated from the United States since the early 20th century. It is listed as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List; and its numbers are declining.
About Jaguar in brief
The jaguar is the largest native cat species of the New World, and the third largest in the world. The species has largely been extirpated from the United States since the early 20th century. It is listed as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List; and its numbers are declining. As a keystone species, it plays an important role in stabilizing ecosystems, and regulating prey populations. While international trade in jaguars or their body parts is prohibited, the cat is still frequently killed, particularly in conflicts with ranchers and farmers in South America. The word ‘jaguar’ is derived from ‘iaguara’, a word in one of the indigenous languages of Brazil for a wild spotted cat that is larger than a wolf. The name ‘panther’ derives from classical Latin panthēra, itself from the ancient Greek pánthēr. In 1758, Carl Linnaeus described the jaguAR in his work Systema Naturae and gave it the scientific name Felis onca. In the 19th and 20th centuries, several Jaguar type specimens formed the basis for descriptions of subspecies. In 1939, Reginald Innes Pocock recognized eight subspecies based on geographic origins and skull morphology of these specimens. By 2005, nine subspecies were considered to be valid taxa. Since 2017, the Jaguarar is therefore considered a monotypic taxon. The genus Panthera probably evolved in Asia between 6 to 10 million years ago. It entered the American continent in the Early Pleistocene via Beringia, the land bridge that once spanned the Bering Strait.
Jaguar fossils were discovered in Whitman County, Washington, between 40,000 and 11,500 years ago, and were found in Craighead Caverns, Texas. Fossils of the extinct Panthera gombaszoensis and the North American lion show characteristics of both the j Jaguar and the lion. Results of DNA studies are conclusive, and jaguara relative the other species varies depending on the methods and sample sizes used. Its immediate ancestor was the Panthera on augusta, which was larger than the contemporary Panthera. The Jaguar is a compact and well-muscled native cat, and is the biggest and largest native animal in the Americas. Its preferred habitat is tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forest, swamps, and wooded regions. It enjoys swimming and is largely a solitary, opportunistic, stalk-and-ambush predator at the top of the food chain. It has featured prominently in the mythology of numerous indigenous peoples of the Americas, including those of the Maya and Aztec civilizations. It’s thought to have genetically diverged from a common ancestor of Panthera at least 1.5 million years ago and to have entered the America continent in the Early Pleistocene via Bering Stratotype. The Jaguar’s lineage evolved between 280,000 and 510,000 years ago and is thought to be basal to this group.