The big cat family refers to the genus Panthera. This includes lions, tigers, leopards, cougars, and jaguars. All of these big, powerful cats are great hunters with huge appetites. They run down their prey with great speed and a powerful bite. Of all the big cats in the world, the jaguar has the most powerful bite of all. This is according to its size, however since the jaguar is smaller than, say, a tiger. So, if you had to choose between a tiger or a jaguar biting you, you might want to choose the jaguar. That said, pound for pound, the jaguar has the strongest chomp around!
The bite force of a jaguar is about 2,000 pounds per square inch. This bite is delivered thanks to incredibly strong jaw muscles. The jaws of the jaguar are smaller than other big cats, so they close quicker and with more force. They can easily snap bones into pieces or bite right through the skull of a deer or the tough, leathery skin of a crocodile.
You may see a jaguar in a zoo, but you wouldn’t want to meet one in the wild. You certainly shouldn’t keep one as a pet. In fact, in the United States, the Captive Wildlife Safety Act prohibits the sale of wild cats as pets and that includes jaguars. That doesn’t mean they aren’t fascinating to read about, however. So, read on for more information on this big cat and its powerful bite.
How Strong is a Jaguars Jaw?
A jaguar’s jaws are extremely strong. This is due to the arrangement of the jaw muscles that allow the cat to break through turtle shells with ease. While the bite force of a tiger is 1,050 pounds per square inch and a lion’s bite force is only 650 psi, those animals have larger mouths to deliver a bigger bite. When size is taken into account, jaguars have a psi of 2,000 which puts them at the top of the big cat heap.
How Many Teeth Does a Jaguar Have?
Jaguars have a total of 30 teeth with three incisors on each side of its powerful jaws. Jaguars use their teeth to deliver a death blow to their prey which is typically done by piercing the skull. Jaguars are also quite adept at cracking open turtle shells to get at the meat inside. Those sharp teeth driven by strong jaws can also snap bones and penetrate the tough hides of deer and crocs.
How Sharp are Jaguars Teeth?
Jaguars have strong sharp teeth that can pierce bone, shells, and tough hides. These sharp teeth are set in powerful jaws that enable the cat to attack animals much larger than themselves. With a bite at the back of the skull, jaguars are able to kill their prey quickly. Their coarse tongues are like sandpaper and can scrape the meat right off of the bones of their prey.
How Powerful is a Jaguar?
Jaguars are lean, mean, powerful predators. They have incredibly strong biting power too. Their bite is quite strong when biting down. The jaws of the jaguar are also smaller than other big cats which provides them with added leverage when biting.
This powerful bite allows them to take down animals such as capybaras and deer with ease. Fish, birds, and porcupines are no match for jaguars and even the tough hides of caiman crocodiles, sea turtles, and armadillos are easy for them to penetrate.
While some big cats go for the throat of their victims, the jaguar is powerful enough to deliver one quick bite at the head. This bite crushes the vertebrae and either kills or incapacitates the animals instantly.
Why Do Jaguars Kill Their Cubs?
It’s not just jaguars that kill their own offspring. Many animals in captivity do this. In most cases, however, it is not their own cubs they kill. For example, when a new male jaguar enters a territory looking to mate, he may kill the cubs of a female jaguar. This triggers the female to go into estrus which makes her eager to mate again. Of course, there are cases where a jaguar will kill its own cubs. This typically occurs when the female is experiencing serious anxiety often a result of captivity.
How Long Does a Jaguar Live?
The normal lifespan of a jaguar in the wild is between 12 and 15 years. It’s amazing that a jaguar cub ever gets to adulthood considering the fact that they are born blind. Jaguar cubs remain in this defenseless state for two weeks. They are protected by their mother, of course, and are weaned off her milk at three months.
Young jaguars remain in the den for six months before their mother brings them out and shows them how to hunt. They remain with her for up to two years before they leave to establish their own territory where they will live and hunt alone until their deaths.
Jaguars that were born and raised in captivity fare much better. Of course, it’s a trade off as a free jaguar could be considered a happier animal on the whole. Regardless, a captive jaguar can live for up to 23 years. That makes the jaguar the longest living of the big cat family.
How Big Do Jaguars Get?
Jaguars vary in size but typically fall into the 126 to 250 pound range. There have been documented instances of jaguars weighing as much as 348 pounds. Males are bigger than females who weigh about a little less than 80 pounds on average.
The length of a jaguar is measured from the base of the tail to the tip of their nose which is about 3 feet, 8 inches up to 6 feet. Jaguars have short tails compared to other big cats. They fall into the range of 18 to 30 inches in length. Jaguars have short legs compared to tigers and lions. Their height ranges between 25 to 30 inches at the shoulders.
Is a Jaguar Bigger Than a Leopard?
Tigers are the largest of the big cats, followed by lions. Jaguars are the third largest which puts them ahead of leopards. An average adult jaguar weighs about 250 pounds while the average eight of a leopard is 175 pounds. Leopards are the smallest of all the big cats. Jaguars are the largest big cat found in the wild of both North and South America.
Is a Jaguar a Panther?
A panther is not a distinct genus of big cat. It is more of a general term applied to both jaguars and leopards. So, technically a jaguar could be considered a panther, but the most common use of the name is in reference to the black panther or white panther which could be a dark or light colored variant of either a jaguar or leopard.
The jaguar and the leopard are often confused with each other. Most people can spot the difference between a lion and a tiger, but not between a jaguar and leopard. The differences can be slight and they seem to have more in common with each other than other types of big cats.
One easy way to tell the difference if you see one in the wild is determined by what continent you are on. Jaguars live in Central and South America while leopards live in Africa and Asia. Another difference is size. Jaguars are bigger, on average, weighing about 75 more than leopards. There’re also those powerful jaws of the jaguar that are a deadly giveaway.
Jaguars have tan or orange fur that is covered with black spots. With some jaguars the color of fur is so dark that these spots aren’t visible. This may lead someone to think it is a black panther. And, unlike leopards, jaguars don’t mind the water and will hunt aquatic prey when given the opportunity.
How Long is a Jaguars Tail?
Jaguars have short tails when compared to other cats. They are usually between 18 and 30 inches in length. Longer tails are found in leopards, for example. Leopards spend a good deal of time above the ground in trees and a longer tail gives them better balance. Jaguars on the other hand hunt on the ground where their powerful bite is a more effective hunting tool than a longer tail.
How Many Claws Do Jaguars Have?
Jaguars, like any cat’s foot, are padded with four toes on the back paws and five on the front paws. These toes each have a retractable claw meaning they are pulled back under the skin of their paws when they are not using them to kill prey, climb trees, or scratch.
How Fast is a Jaguar?
Jaguars are not the fastest cat on the planet. That title belongs to the cheetah which is the fastest animal on land. That said, the jaguar is no slouch when it comes to speed and can hit 50 miles per hour when given enough room to run. That’s almost half that of the cheetah, but jaguars do not hunt in the open plains but are more suited to jungle and forest environments.
Do Jaguars Live Alone?
After the jaguar cub is old enough to look after itself, at about two years old, it spends its adult life in solitude. Jaguars get together to mate, of course, but otherwise, they live alone in the wild.
How Often Do Jaguars Eat?
Jaguars need daily caloric intake to survive so they hunt and eat every day. An adult jaguar eats up to 50 pounds of meat when it can get it. That is in optimal hunting conditions, however, and may not always be an option for them.