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Traits of the Jaguar

April 25, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 171

It's fascinating to take a place on a Jaguar tour when you're interested in catching a glimpse of the animal, but are also interested in observing not only its form, but its behaviour. There's no better way to get a sense of the big cat's behaviour than in the wild, and trips to observe them will allow groups plenty of time to get to know the intricacies of this. A little prior knowledge is never a bad thing, however, and a few pointers as to interesting facets of the 'character' of the animal can be a real boon when you're trying to identify the behaviour you observe in the wild on a Jaguar tour.

The Roar of the Jaguar

Although it sounds like the title of some 80's action movie, the roar of the jaguar is actually quite an interesting subject if you keep an ear out during your Jaguar tour. Like many other big cats, it is capable of emitting a ferocious roar, and usually does so to warn competitors for its territory away. Although a very rare occurrence to experience during a tour, intense bouts of roaring and counter-roaring have been observed in the wild. This type of roar actually bears more resemblance to a repetitive cough than the classical full-bodied sound, however, and may incorporate a more feline mewing as well.


Although it is classified as a nocturnal animal, a more accurate description would be to categorize it as 'crepuscular' - meaning that its peak activity can be seen around dawn and dusk - top times for observation on a Jaguar tour. Some have been observed hunting during the day if their energy levels are high enough, and if there is enough prey available to be worth its time. It is an opportunistic hunter, preferring the meat of larger prey animals such as deer, capybaras, tapirs, dogs, foxes, and sometimes even anacondas!

This big cat is very much a stalk-and-ambush variety of predator, rather than one that expends energy on a long chase. A Jaguar will often make its way down forest paths, listening for prey and stalking them before it makes the final attack, which usually comes from cover toward a target's blind spot. The Jaguar is particularly known for its ability to ambush, even leaping into water after its prey. This might not be such a hardship as is imagined - this creature is quite capable of carrying a large kill while it swims, and carcasses as large as a heifer have been seen hauled up trees to avoid flooding.

Marissa Ellis-Snow is a freelance nature writer. Naturetrek is a tour operator specialising in expert-led natural history and jaguar tour experiences worldwide. Naturetrek brings over 25 years of experience to any jaguar tour in some of the most spectacular regions on Earth.

Source: EzineArticles
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