Episode 36 – Jaguar: The Champion of Chomp

“…and today we’ll be talking about a cool cat that can bat at crocodile backs and fat rats like they’re doormats and defeat them in combat. But more on that later.”


The jungle is home to some of the most extraordinary creatures on planet Earth. One such creature stalks the rainforests of Central and South America as the king of the jungle: the jaguar. Pound for pound, this large feline has the second strongest bite of any mammal on Earth. But to survive beneath the Amazonian canopy, the jaguar must also be one of the most versatile creatures. It’s all part of being an apex predator on Life Death and Taxonomy.


Jaguars live from Mexico down to South America. Most densely populated in Belize and Brazil, in the rainforest. They prefer jungle wetlands, rain forests, and grasslands. Can also live in scrubs and desserts.


Golden to auburn base with rose-like spots. Spots are less densely packed than leopards. Rarely come in black. Short and stocky legs good for climbing, swimming. Large heads with powerful jaws. Shorter tails than other cats. Huge yellow eyes, bigger eyes in predators for its size. Sturdier bodies than leopards. Jaguars are the largest predator in its normal habitat. Slightly smaller than cougars of North America. Sexually dimorphic size with females weighing up to 20% less than males.

Measure Up

Weight – 56–96 kg (123–212 lb) – Max: 158 kg (348 lb) – Average: 156 lbs – How many Lil Bubs, the famous internet cat celebrity, go into a jaguar? 39 Bubs

Strength – How many distances that a jaguar can pull a 800 lb bull (25 feet) go into the worlds farthest motorcycle jump (346 feet )? 14 jbdd

Fast Facts

Jaguars are near threatened which means they may become threatened in the near future, but don’t currently qualify.

They are difficult to find and incredibly elusive. You may live in an area densely populated by jaguars and never see one. Cubs are rarely observed in the wild.

Cubs are born blind and helpless. Raised by single mothers for two years. Become solitary by age three. Jaguars generally hunt and live alone, but have been observed cooperating or sharing kills. Black panthers are jaguars and you can see spots if you look closely enough. Jaguars are among the only cats that are comfortable in the water (along with tigers). As comfortable hunting in the water as on land. Prey on turtles, fish, crocodiles and capybaras that seek out wetlands, lakes, and rivers.

Huge eyes can see well at night but they aren’t nocturnal. Prefer dawn and dusk to hunt. Keen vision can see through foliage and underwater. If you go on a trip to south America, don’t wear Calvin Klein’s Obsession cologne. It contains a chemical from the scent glands of civets, South American small cats. Similar to jaguar’s own scent gland chemicals. Jaguars like to rub their own scent on spots covered in the cologne. Used by photographers to lure jaguars.