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Photo: Rhett Butler





 King of the American jungles.

By: Andrés Benavente
Photos by: Jordi Anguera, Roshan Rao
Rhett Butler & Frans Lanting.

The largest feline in America lives in the depths of the tropical jungles.  In this habitat he is the unchallenged king of the jungle, since he has no predators, nor natural enemies.

Unlike most cats, the Jaguar (panthera onca) feels at home in the water and they are excellent swimmers. 

Being well adapted for hunting of aquatic and sub-aquatic prey from the surface, they can normally be found in the vicinity of rivers hunting for aquatic animal and those that come to the river for a drink.


His preys range from deer, peccaries, tapirs, birds, rodents, fish and snakes, and even large alligators. 

Their diet includes a total of over 80 different species within a territory that oscillates between 10 sq.miles to 60 sq.miles, depending on the availability of food.

 Photo: Jordi Anguera 

The Jaguar is a lone hunter and does not relate to others of their species beyond the mating season.

At one time his territory included large parts of America, but today they are abundant only in some areas of Central America and the Amazon.


They measure between 3,9 and 6,2 feet in length at maturity with a height of 32 inches. 

Their average weight varies between 170 lbs. and 250 lbs. but some have reached up to 330 pounds.

Photo: Frans Lanting 

A condition known as melanism can cause  a Jaguar to appear completely black (even though their spots are actually visible upon close observation). 

These animals are known as black panthers, but they are not a separate species.

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