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Jaguar - Cat Under Threat
The terrible future of the Jaguar
If you run into a jaguar, quickly check your GPS to make sure you're in the Americas. Otherwise, you've just seen a leopard!
Falling across a jaguar in your travels is not so easy to do these days, there are hardly any of them still around. As the forests disappear, the remaining jaguars are forced to seek new homes, to keep moving in search of their lost jungles and forests
Jaguars (I hate to tell you this) are also the target of hunters because their skins are sold to make clothes, accessories and awful things for awful people. Like most of the other big cats, the handsome Jaguar is close to extinction in the wild due to habitat destruction and the ghastly poaching.
A Jaguar is not a Leopard
The Jaguar (Panthera Onca) is the least known of the big cats. They're so rare in the wild, that most of what we know has been learned by studying them in captivity.
Although they look like leopards, they are distinctly different cats.
Jaguars can easily climb trees
The Jaguar has a more muscular, more compact body, with shorter, stockier legs, and the spots on the Jaguars' coat are larger, and generally, fewer. One common similarity between Jaguars and leopards is melanism - the condition that makes the coat appear to be black although, the spots are still present and can be seen in certain light conditions.
Like leopards, Jaguars can easily climb trees.
This Coat would look better on its original owner
The Jaguar is a threatened species
This picture tells why
Does this woman want to be an Aztec Jaguar Warrior?
The coat would look much better on the original hapless cat, hunted, slaughtered and skinned for the perverse pleasure of people.
The decline of this lovely cat isn't just due to people who like to drape the skins of dead animals around themselves, but because of the destruction of natural habitat. For example, in the Ria Lagartos Biosphere reserve in northern Yucatyan state, only 20 percent of the original forest cover remains, the rest having been cleared for cattle-herding.
I would like to tell you where the beef from those cattle ends up, but I have no intentions of giving publicity to a fast food chain.
The organisation PETA estimates that jaguars will have vanished within 20 -30 years.
Aztec Jaguar Warriors
The fearsome Jaguar Knights
With such a powerful and beautiful cat living in their jungles, it's no wonder that an elite group of Aztec warriors were known as "Jaguar Knights".
The Aztecs were constantly fighting with their neighbours, either to increase the size of their empire or to take prisoners who would probably be sacrificed to the gods at their temples. The most feared and famous of all Aztec soldiers were the eagle and the jaguar warriors.
Jaguar Warriors were usually from the nobility but Aztec soldiers who fought well and bravely could become one and wear the distinctive uniform - a whole jaguar skin complete with head.
As for the Mayans, they believed that the Jaguar was a messenger between the living and the dead. Mayan kings often incorporated the Jaguar into their name to show their superiority over the rest of the people.
The Jaguar has powerful teeth
Look at those teeth! Incredibly powerful in comparison to other big cats and this dental equipment gives a jaguar an abnormally powerful bite.
His teeth are so strong that he often bites through the skull to inflict a killer blow to the brain.
With fangs like this, a jaguar can take on armoured reptiles such as caiman and crocodiles. Armadillos are on the menu too. That's power indeed.
Have a look at the video of a jaguar chomping on a young crocodile.
His list of prey ranges from white-nosed coati to larger mammals, and a jaguar plays an essential part in maintaining a balanced ecosystem.
A Sanctuary in Belize
In 1984, the Cockscomb Basin was declared a National Forest Reserve, with a no hunting provision for the protection of the jaguar. This made Belize the first country in the world to protect jaguars.
tells an utterly fantastic tale -- sometimes terrifying -- of how that came to be. It portrays a world most safely enjoyed from the comfort of an armchair; a very personal story that is a combination of natural history and hair-raising adventure in the Stanley Livingston tradition. Jaguar: One Man's Struggle To Establish The World's First Jaguar Preserve
The World's First Jaguar Preserve
An interesting mix of memoir and natural history, with eye-opening descriptions of life in a remote Mayan village in the jungles of Belize.
In this world exists the jaguar, a powerful cat who is rarely seen and is not a man-eater, yet is hunted almost to extinction for its exquisite spotted fur and because, quite simply, people fear him.
A Jaguar GalleryClick thumbnail to view full-size
Get your own little Jaguar
This cuddly plush jaguar comes with a unique code for the online Webkinz World.
In Webkinz World, you care for your virtual pet, answer trivia and play the best kids games on the internet. The jaguar has his own unique special item and special food and you can choose the gender too.
These Webkinz pets are amazing things!
Winner of the 2006 iParenting Media Award and 2007 Toy of the Year (TOTY) award.
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© 2009 Vladimir