The scientific name for the jaguar is Panthera onca. Only tigers and lions are larger than jaguars. The name "jaguar" originates from a Native American word that means "a cat that kills with one leap." Jaguars are extremely powerful and agile.
The jaguar's extraordinary light tan or dark yellow coat features a rose-shaped pattern that, like human fingerprints, is unique to each of these cats. The importance of the color of the coat and spots is the camouflage it provides the jaguar in the jungle. Jaguars differ from most wild cats in that they love water. They are excellent swimmers and are quite fast, especially when pursuing prey.