South American jaguar
The South American jaguar is a jaguar (Panthera onca) population in South America. Though a number of subspecies of jaguar have been proposed for South America, morphological and genetic research did not reveal any evidence for subspecific differentiation.
- Panthera onca onca was proposed by Reginald Innes Pocock in 1939.
- Pocock also mentioned other subspecies, such as Panthera onca peruviana (de Blainville, 1843), but eventually, due to a lack of evidence, he accepted that Panthera onca peruviana could be the same subspecies as Panthera onca onca. In other words, the taxonomic name Panthera onca onca referred to a geographic group, if not subspecies, of jaguars north and west of the Amazon River, and south of Central America, including some Colombian jaguars, which was believed to include another group of jaguars, that is Panthera onca centralis.
- The Pantanal jaguar was proposed as the largest subspecies, with the taxonomic name Panthera onca palustris (Ameghino, 1888), native to the Pantanal region of South America, besides Argentina.
- A specimen from Bolivia was given the name Panthera onca boliviensis (Nelson and Goldman, 1933), before it was considered as being of Panthera onca palustris by Carbera (1957).
- Panthera onca paraguensis (Hollister, 1914) was described for a jaguar from the Gran Chaco or the Pantanal regions in Paraguay.
Jaguars are considered to be larger than cougars, and those in South America tend to be heavier than those in Central or North America. Within South America, there are differences for jaguars which are north and south of the Amazon River.
In Guyana, specimens weighing up to 91 kg (201 lb) have been reported. The average for males and females in Venezuela was 95.0 kg (209.4 pounds) and 56.3 kg (124 pounds) respectively, with the latter being similar to that of Central American males in Belize. Venezuelan males and females can otherwise weigh up to 120 kg (260 lb) and 90 kg (200 lb), respectively. Jaguars from Los Llanos in Venezuela, and the Pantanal region of southern Brazil, Bolivia and Paraguay, are the largest of the species. Pantanal jaguars have lengths of about 2.7 m (8.9 ft), and average weights of 94.8 kg (209 lb) for males and 77.7 kg (171 lb) for females. Some individuals weighed more than 135 kg (298 lb).
Habitat and distribution
Behavior and ecology
In South America, the jaguar's prey includes the peccary, capybara, and green anaconda. Sympatric predators include the mountain lion and spectacled bear. Spectacled bears appear to avoid places where the jaguar is present. This suggests predation on the bear by the jaguar.
Attacks on humans
Occasionally, jaguars may attack humans, depending on factors such as the availability of natural prey:
- In 2015, at Isseneru Village in Cuyuni-Mazaruni, near the Mazaruni River in the Guyana Montane Forest, a jaguar attacked an indigenous girl aged three. She later received medical treatment, and survived.
- A fatal attack on a child belonging to the Taushiro people, who are from the border region of Peru and Ecuador, had been reported. In fact, the child's grandfather used to warn his family about such attacks.
The jaguar is featured in the crest of Argentina's national federation in rugby union. Jaguares de Córdoba is a football team in Colombia. The Lost Land of the Jaguar is a nature documentary by the BBC on Guyana's fauna, including the jaguar.
During the relaying of the torch at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil, a female, captive jaguar in Manaus called 'Juma' was used as a mascot. However, it tried to escape, and on approaching a person, was killed. The animal's death provoked outrage, similar to that of a captive gorilla earlier.
A captive jaguar in Santa Cruz Zoo
- European jaguar
- Pleistocene North American jaguar
- Pleistocene South American jaguar
- Paseo del Jaguar
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