This is the "Summary" page of the "Jaguar (Panthera onca) Fact Sheet, 2008" guide.
Alternate Page for Screenreader Users
Skip to Page Navigation
Skip to Page Content
sdzglibrarybanner San Diego Zoo Global Library

Jaguar (Panthera onca) Fact Sheet, 2008  

Last Updated: Dec 2, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

Summary Print Page

Jaguar (Panthera onca) Fact Sheet, 2008

Image Credit: San Diego Zoo Global. All Rights Reserved.

TaxonomyPhysical Characteristics

Describer (Date): Linnaeus 1758

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Mammalia

Order: Carnivora

Family: Felidae

Subfamily: Pantherinae

Genus: Panthera

Species: Panthera onca

Body Weight: 57-113 kg (126-249 lb)

Body Length: 112-185 cm (44-73 in)

Tail Length: 45-75 cm (18-30 in)

Pelage: Spotted pattern in rosettes, with smaller spots inside.

Distribution & StatusBehavior & Ecology

Range: Mexico through Central America, South America; a few individuals live in U.S. southwest.

Habitat: Dense lowland and montane tropical forests; often near water, though highly adaptable to drier habitats.

IUCN Status: Near Threatened

CITES Appendix: Appendix I Species

Population in Wild:  Very difficult to estimate; 3,000 to 6,000 in Guatemala, Belize, Mexico, Pantanal of Brazil.

Locomotion: 50 cm (19.7 in) strides; run top sped (100 km/hr or 64 mph) short distance.

Activity Cycle: Primarily hunt at night; varies locally.

Social Groups: Solitary except when mating or female caring for young.

Diet: Some 85 species; including capybara, marsh deer, giant anteater, red brocket deer; turtles, fish, birds, and alligator.

Predators: Humans

Reproduction & DevelopmentSpecies Highlights

Sexual Maturity: Males: 3- 4 years; females: 2-3 years

Gestation: c.100 days

Litter Size: 2 cubs most common; up to 4

Birth weight: c. 800 g (1.7 lb)

Age at Weaning: 5 to 6 months

Longevity: Estimated in wild, 11 years; 20-27 years in captivity

Feature Facts: Largest and most robust cat of Americas; circumference of massive head usually greater than height at shoulder.

Society Press: In the 1960's two jaguars at the zoo, Rita and Rio, had 12 cubs.


About This Fact Sheet

© 2008 San Diego Zoo Global

How to cite: Jaguar (Panthera onca) Fact Sheet, 2008. c. 2008. San Diego (CA): San Diego Zoo Global; [accessed YYYY Mmm dd].
(note: replace YYYY Mmm dd with date accessed, e.g., 2015 Jan 15)

Disclaimer: Although San Diego Zoo Global makes every attempt to provide accurate information, some of the facts provided may become outdated or replaced by new research findings. Questions and comments may be addressed to

SDZG Library Links

Our Mission. The Library is dedicated to supporting San Diego Zoo Global’s mission by providing outstanding
information resources and research services to advance knowledge and strengthen our organization’s capacity to save
species worldwide. Our Vision. We will empower San Diego Zoo Global to lead the fight against extinction by serving as
the organization’s information hub and facilitating research of the highest quality.

© 2016 San Diego Zoo Global — All Rights Reserved

Our Family of Sites

  • Zoo logoSan Diego Zoo
  • Park logoSan Diego Zoo Safari Park
  • ICR logoSan Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research
  • SDZ Global logoSan Diego Zoo Global

Loading  Loading...