Largest New World cat. Once found in wooded regions from the U.S.-Mexican border south to Patagonia, the jaguar (Panthera onca) survives, in reduced numbers, only in remote areas of Central and South America; the largest known population is in the Amazon rain forest. The male is 5.5–9 ft (1.7–2.7 m) long, including the 23–35-in. (60–90-cm) tail, and weighs 220–350 lbs (100–160 kg). The coat is typically orange-tan with black spots arranged in rosettes having a black spot in the centre. A solitary predator, the jaguar usually hunts rodents, deer, birds, and fish; it will also take cattle, horses, and dogs.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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