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What are the behavioral adaptations of jaguars?

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Quick Answer

Behavioral adaptations of jaguars include the ability to swim, nocturnal lifestyle and hunting techniques. Like other large cats, jaguars practice a unique method of killing prey, called occipital crunching. They pierce the skulls of prey with one bite of their powerful jaws, which kills victims instantly.

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Full Answer

Jaguars, despite classifying as large cats, are relatively short and small. However, they have powerful muscles that help them perform diverse activities such as swimming, climbing and jumping. Jaguars have large heads and very powerful jaws in relation to other animals of their size. This combination makes jaguars suited for hunting and carrying large animals; they may capture and kill animals weighing up to 800 pounds.

In addition to powerful jaws and muscles, jaguars have unique coat colors, which provide substantial camouflage. Jaguars' coats range in color from golden yellow to dark brown and even mostly black. They have spotted arrangements on their fur, called rosettes, which hide them from prey as they prowl through jungles.

Jaguars are relatively solitary animals, and both males and females maintain their own territories. Males and females interact only during mating season, while males may fight other males over territory. Jaguars of both genders may travel great lengths to find food, although males usually cover a larger stretch of territory than females.

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