What Are Some Facts About Jaguars That Would Be Interesting to Kids?


Quick Answer

Jaguars and leopards look alike, but jaguars live in the New World while leopards are found in the Old World. Specifically, jaguars are found in South America and as far north as southern Arizona and New Mexico. They are the largest cats in the New World.

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What Are Some Facts About Jaguars That Would Be Interesting to Kids?
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Full Answer

The jaguar is a more robust animal than the leopard, and its spots are more complex. On average, a jaguar weighs about 220.26 pounds and is a little under 6 feet long. They live about 12 years in the wild, though they can live over 20 years in captivity. Jaguars prefer to hunt at dawn and just after the sun sets, and they rest during the hotter hours of mid-morning and afternoon.

Jaguars are apex predators in their habitat, and nothing really preys on them save humans. They are carnivores, but eat many different types of prey. They prefer big animals such as peccaries, which are a type of wild pig, tapirs and deer; they also eat capybaras, which are huge rodents, and caimans, which are related to alligators. Other prey are large birds, porcupines and other reptiles. The jaws of the jaguar are so powerful they can even puncture the skin of a caiman or the shell of a turtle.

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