Fun Jaguar Facts For Kids | Kidadl


Fun Jaguar Facts For Kids

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A jaguar (Panthera onca), is also known as 'El Tigre' or 'Tigre Americano' in the regions where it is found. They are mostly found in the continent of South America from the southern part of Mexico to the Northern part of Argentina. Jaguars are swift and agile predators who are known for their ferocious hunting and attacking skills. They mostly prefer to live in the Amazonian rainforest of Brazil as the climate and ecosystem suit their habitat. Due to the threats of increasing deforestation and illegal hunting and poaching, the number of jaguars is decreasing day by day. The lack of habitat makes it harder for them to mate and breed. In addition to that, they are also directly killed by humans for their expensive fur coats or body parts. They are also hunted down by farmers in order to protect livestock. However, there are many Jaguar Conservation Units in countries like Colombia, Mexico, Bolivia, Peru, and Panama in order to ensure the conservation of these animals. Read on to know more jaguar animal facts.

If you like this article with jaguar animal interesting facts, then also check out the articles with amazing facts about the saber-toothed cat and Somali cat

Fun Jaguar Facts For Kids

What do they prey on?

Capybara, deer, monkey and more

What do they eat?


Average litter size?


How much do they weigh?

100-250 lb (45-113 kg)

How long are they?

60-72 in (152-182 cm) (without tail)

How tall are they?

24-29 in (63-76 cm)

What do they look like?

Yellow, tan with black spots

Skin Type


What were their main threats?


What is their conservation status?

Near Threatened

Where you'll find them?

Wetlands And Tropical Rainforests


North America, South America









Jaguar Interesting Facts

What type of animal are jaguars?

A jaguar (Panthera onca) is a type of felid species, belonging to the genus Panthera. This means that jaguars are essentially a member of the family of cats.

What class of animal do jaguars belong to?

Jaguar (Panthera onca) belongs to the Mammalia class of animals.

How many jaguars are there in the world?

Wildlife studies claim that only 64,000 jaguars are left in the world.

Where do jaguars live?

Currently, most of the jaguars in the world are concentrated in the Amazon rainforest and the Pantanal which is the largest tropical wetland in the Americas. Earlier, jaguars were found even in southern parts of the United States of America and in most of Central and South America. Brazil currently houses the highest population of jaguars in the world. In addition to that, they are also found in 18 more countries in the South American continent.

What is a jaguar's habitat?

The habitat of a jaguar can be easily understood from the kind of areas in South America it lives in. The preferred habitat of jaguars is moist wetlands and forest regions. They inhabit tropical and subtropical forests which are quite dense. Jaguars are quite flexible and can adapt to any tropical environment easily as long as it has enough prey around to hunt and eat. Jaguars are also very comfortable around water bodies such as lakes and rivers. They can easily navigate through water bodies and swim in them.

Who do jaguars live with?

Jaguars are mostly solitary animals and prefer to live on their own. Male jaguars have their own territory and range which they defend and protect. They only come near female jaguars when it is time to mate. Female jaguars are an exception to the rule and carry their cubs around with them for around two years after birth.

How long do jaguars live?

The average life span of the jaguar species is between 12-15 years in the wild. In captivity, it can live up to 22 years.

How do they reproduce?

The gestation period for jaguars lasts for around 14 weeks after which she gives birth to two to four cubs. Jaguar cubs are extremely small and helpless once they are born. The cubs cannot even see after birth which is why their mothers carry them around for a year or two. The cubs grow pretty strong soon after and learn to hunt in the wildlife.

What is their conservation status?

The International Union for Conservation of Nature or IUCN has placed the species in its Red List under the category, Near Threatened. It recognizes that while wild jaguars are still found abundantly in the chief areas it inhabits, the population of the species is still declining at an alarming rate which might lead to them becoming an endangered species. The species has already gone extinct from the countries of El Salvador and Uruguay. Their population has also decreased by 40% in the historic range of their usual territory and habitat.  

Jaguar Fun Facts

What do jaguars look like?

A jaguar (Panthera onca) is a big cat who has a large, rounded head and small ears at the side. Their legs are short but very powerful. Their bodies are long and muscular. They have a short fur coat that is primarily yellow or golden in color. Their skin is marked with a pattern of spots or circular markings which are black in colors. These black spots are one of the most crucial identifiable features of the jaguar.

However, this big cat in the Americas also shares most of its physical characteristics with leopards. In fact, many people mistake a leopard for a jaguar. These big cats can be differentiated from leopards in the wildlife by looking at the spots on their fur coat. Most jaguars have black dots in the middle of their spots while leopards do not have that unique pattern. These spots or circular markings are known as rosettes and scientists usually distinguish between jaguars and leopards in the wildlife by looking at them.

Jaguar facts are very interesting.

How cute are they?

You might think a jaguar is cute if you really like and admire big cats! Otherwise, most people would be really scared of a jaguar which is one of the largest cats in the world. While baby jaguars might be cute and act just like small cats, they can still easily hunt and chase down prey.

How do they communicate?

During mating season, both genders of the jaguars let out loud roars which signal to the other that they are ready to reproduce. When two jaguars meet or want to reassure each other, they make a low nasally noise. The roar of the jaguars is also quite strange and has a unique quality to it that cannot be found in the roar of other large cats.

How big are jaguars?

The jaguar is the third-largest cat in the world (after tigers and lions) and is the largest of the felid species in South and North America. Even their tails can grow as long as 31 in (80cm). The average body length of these cats is 60-72 in (152-182 cm) and their average height varies between 24-29 in (63-76 cm). A jaguar is almost ten times the size of a Philippine Tarsier!

However, the jaguar cat size often differs based on the regions they are from. For example, jaguars found in the Pantanal region are twice the size of jaguars that are found in Central America.

How fast can jaguars run?

Jaguars are powerful along with strong limbs that allow them to run very fast and hunt down prey. The average jaguar cat speed is about 49.7 mph (80 kph). They have even been recorded to go as high as 64 mph (103 kph)! Unlike some cats, jaguars can also swim very well. Since they mostly live in moist wetlands and forests, they often encounter water bodies and are quite used to swimming in them.

How much do jaguars weigh?

Jaguars are big cats and normally weigh between 100-250 lb (45-113 kg). Male jaguars weigh more than female jaguars. These cats need a lot of body weight in order to hunt and chase prey more easily - especially the kind of prey that is often quite huge such as the caiman alligators.

What are their male and female names of the species?

Jaguars do not have a separate common name for the male and female types of their species. Therefore, they are denoted by male jaguar and female jaguar.

What would you call a baby jaguar?

A baby jaguar is called a cub.

What do they eat?

Jaguars are carnivorous animals and require meat and flesh in their diet to stay alive. They mostly gather food for themselves by preying and hunting upon other animals. They feed on different types of deers, monkeys, tortoises, capybaras, fishes, and birds.

Are they dangerous?

Jaguars are considered to be one of the most dangerous animals in the South American forests. They are extremely powerful and athletic which makes them one of the most skilled predators belonging to the wild cats family. They have a powerful bite that can break through the hard shells of tortoises and thick hides of crocodiles. They can even bite down on animals like capybara breaking through their skulls. They also bite down on the throats of larger animals like tapirs and make them suffocate till they die. Jaguars can even kill a lion if it has the chance to attack the skull of the lion. Whereas, the jaguars do not have any natural predators in the wildlife.

Would they make a good pet?

Jaguars would not make a good pet at all! With their powerful jaws and carnivorous diet, they are not at all like the usual domestic cats we see and can even kill humans. They feel most comfortable roaming around in the wild and can cause immense damage to humans if they feel threatened. So, a jaguar domestic cat would surely be a thing of imagination.

Did you know...

These cats are actually named 'jaguar' after the indigenous word 'yaguar' which means 'he who can kill with one leap'!

A completely black jaguar cat or black leopard is sometimes termed as a black panther.

Although hunting jaguars from wildlife has been declared illegal, their paws, teeth, and other body parts including their fur skin were very much in demand till the 1970s. These body parts would be sold illegally in countries like China where people would make medicine and ornaments from them.

What is special about a jaguar's roar?

The roar of a jaguar is very peculiar and unique. It is often termed as a 'saw' because of the way a jaguar's roar resembles the sound of a saw cutting into any object. The roar of the jaguar feels like the saw is only moving in one direction!

Are jaguars picky eaters?

Jaguars are not picky eaters at all but are opportunistic carnivorous hunters who are ready to hunt down any kind of prey to satisfy their hunger. Their prey consists of the usual animals jaguars can hunt in a South American forest - deers, monkeys, capybaras, tortoises, armadillos, iguanas, birds, and fishes. They can even eat one of South America's largest animals, tapir, and a giant predator named caiman, which is a type of dangerous alligator.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other mammals including lion, or caracal.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our jaguar coloring pages.

Written By
Moumita Dutta

Moumita is a multilingual content writer and editor. She has a PostGraduate Diploma in sports management, which enhanced her sports journalism skills, as well as a degree in journalism and mass communication. She's good at writing about sports and sporting heroes. Moumita has worked with many soccer teams and produced match reports, and sports is her primary passion.

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