Jaguars The Big Cats Of The Americas
The biggest of the cats in the Americas are the Jaguars. These powerful cats of the jungle have long been revered and respected.
A Symbol Of Strength And Beauty
Jaguars are really a most beautiful cat and are the largest of the big cats in the Americas. They are often the symbol of power and strength because they have survived in the jungles for centuries. Jaguars typically will live near water and are actually very good at swimming and fishing. They are just as comfortable in the trees as they are on the ground and can be found in Northern Mexico, Central America, the north and central sections of South America, and the Amazon basin.
Jaguars are of the Panthera Onca species and can live as long as 12 years in the wild. Captive Jaguars have survived as long as 20 years. They are carnivores and typically feed on deer, cattle, monkeys, fish, snakes, and armidillos.
Jaguars In MesoAmerica
Recently I wrote about the totem of the Jaguar on one of my blogs. As I researched for my post I discovered that the Jaguar was considered sacred and highly revered in MesoAmerican cultures. The indigenous peoples of the Pre-Columbian societies observed the agility and power of the jaguar and found ways to incorporate it into their belief systems. The totem of Jaguar is connected to the lessons of integrity.
The Maya, Aztecs, and other cultures saw the jaguar as a link to the spirit world. The Maya, in particular, saw the daytime as a time of the living and of the earth. Night was a time of the ancestors and the spirit world. Because the jaguar is so adept at hunting during the night, they saw this big cat as a way to have a relationship to the spirit world.
The rulers of the Maya actually wore jaguar skins as a part of their dress and some even took the jaguar as a part of their ruling name as Jaguar Paw, Bird Jaguar, and others.
Some cultures even considered the jaguar as the god of fertility.
Could A Jaguar Roam In Dreams?
The Mayans believed that this mighty big cat did roam in their dreams. The spirit of jaguar was beleived to come into a person's dreams looking to see if there was any shameful and dishonest behavior. Reminding the person how important it was to live a life with impeccability.
A great book with Jaguar Facts
The book featured at the left was written with the education of children in mind. Adults can learn some really fascinating facts about the Jaguar from the book, also. Reading the basic facts about an animal will most times encourage us to find more in depth information.
Weekly Reader has been educating children for several decades.
|Jaguars (Animals That Live in the Rain Forest)|
Weekly Reader Early Learning Library